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Unit Contributions to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion 6540

Academic Years: 
Natural Sciences
1. Faculty: 

In 2017-18 the department made a hiring offer to a new female faculty member, although this was ultimately unsuccessful. In 2018-19 we made offers to a married couple, and this was again unsuccessful (we were underbid on salary by UC Davis by $10,000 each). Hiring under-represented minorities remains a high priority.

In 2017-18 the department saw the successful promotion of our only two women faculty to Associate Professors.

3. Graduate Programs: 

In 2016-17 the department's Executive Committee worked to assess the climate for female graduate students, in particular by holding a discussion forum with a female scientist from outside the department who afterwards met with the Executive Committee to discuss problems and recommendations.

In 2017-18 the mandatory teaching meeting for all GEs included a discussion of diversity issues within the department and a suggestion of best practices for being a good citizen when it comes to diversity in STEM-related fields. In 2018-19 we held this meeting for only the incoming GEs, with some brief reminders at the all-GE meeting.

In response to some of the difficulties reported by female GTFs, in 2017-18 we adopted a revision of the qualifying procedures for our PhD program.
In 2018-19 we will be working on other changes to the first two years of the program which we believe will make the program more appealing to under-represented minorities.

For the past several years the Math Department has funded the local chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics, which is run by our graduate students. Among other things, the AWM chapter brings women mathematicians to campus for undergraduate- and graduate-level talks each quarter, and the visiting mathematicians have a meeting with the graduate students to discuss life in the field, advice on career trajectories, and so forth. In 2017-18 our AWM chapter won a national award for some of their work.

Starting in 2018-19 we will be piloting a one-credit "Ethics and Diversity" course that will be required for all first-year graduate students. The course will focus on issues centered around professional success, and in particular including diversity issues.

4. Undergraduate Programs: 

In 2016-17 and 2017-18 we piloted a new course designed to help students who need math remediation to better succeed in their first year of college.
Starting in 2018-18 we have completely revised our approach to remedial math courses and math placement, to better serve students coming to college who are underprepared in math. This group of students includes a higher than average proportion of under-represented minorities and first-generation college students. The changes focus on the introduction of the new course Math 101.

Starting in 2017-18 we completely revised the math major, as well as the criteria for departmental honors. We hope that these revisions will better serve the Secondary Teaching Track of the math major, which contains a higher than average population of our female students.

Three years ago we began the Oregon Distinguished Mathematics Lectures for Students, where we bring in talented speakers to address the undergraduates. There is also a dinner between the speaker and a small group of undergraduates. Efforts have been made to have the speakers represent a particularly diverse pool, as can be see here:

5. Outreach and Partnerships: 

One faculty member spent close to half time working with the local schools on K-12 outreach. She is mostly in smaller poorer districts and works as far as Oakridge and Junction city. Her efforts will help improve math education in districts that have fewer resources.

The Eugene Math Circle, an after-school program started by the department four years ago, continues to flourish. It now has four sessions that meet every Thursday evening during the school year. The Math Circle tuition is waived for low-income students, increasing accessibility to math enrichment for that group.

1. University Service: 

Our office manager has been a vocal supporter of equity issues for OAs.

2. Departmental Contributions: 

In 2017-18 our staff redesigned the daily departmental teas to be more inclusive and welcoming.

4. Professional Development and Training: 
Our staff are given many opportunities to develop new skills, and are encouraged to attend frequent trainings throughout the year.