The Department of Geology at the University at Buffalo is committed to providing an inclusive, accessible, and safe environment where everyone can learn and thrive. Everyone includes faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and students regardless of a range of traits including, but not limited to, physical ability, socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, political views, religious beliefs, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status, military status, domestic violence victim status, or ex-offender status. We are proud of our collegial department that has had 45% female faculty for the past 15 years, and recognize that we can improve our curriculum and environment to be more inclusive, accessible, and safe. Fostering such an environment serves three important purposes: (1) Diversity is synonymous with excellence, as it illustrates rigor in recruiting from the full pool of top candidates, retaining them to successful completion of their UB goals, and advancing them to careers outside of UB, (2) A diverse community of scholars, staff, and students, who bring a variety of perspectives to creative problem-solving, enhances our innovation and quality in research, teaching, and outreach, and (3) Working in an inclusive, accessible, and safe environment is key to being engaged and empowered citizens of UB and the world.
Our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee worked with the Department to create a strategic plan in fall 2020. This plan is presented in two documents: (1) Demographic information, barriers to broad participation in our department, and goals, available here and (2) Recommended actions to meet our goals, which we are continually refining as a department. We advocate for a future with URM participation in geosciences education and professions proportional to representation in the population. Our overarching goal is to contribute to the transformation of higher education beginning with our own department by achieving our goals. Success in achieving our goals will result in an increase in URMs among our department members.
URM = Underrepresented Minority, refers to groups that are historically marginalized and therefore underrepresented in the geosciences, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Consistent with UB, we also use the term URM to include LGBTQ and differently able persons, although there are little to no data available about participation by these groups in the geosciences.