President Obama receives diversity commitment from School of Engineering dean.

Media Contact: Teddy DeRosa,, 203-254-4000 ext. 2118

Fairfield University School of Engineering dean helped present a proactive proposal to President Obama, committing to diversity in engineering.

School of EngineeringFAIRFIELD, Conn. (August 25, 2015) - Bruce Berdanier, dean of the School of Engineering at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn., is among the more than 100 leaders of collegiate engineering education programs from across the nation who recently endorsed a letter presented to U.S. President Barack Obama in support of efforts to increase diversity among engineering students.

On August 4, engineering deans from around the country signed a letter pledging four actions that promise to increase diversity among engineering students. First, they will develop a concrete diversity plan for their engineering programs, with input from national organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Second, they will undertake an annual equity and inclusion climate survey of faculty, students, and staff, with the goal of assessing and increasing the effectiveness of the Diversity Plan developed. Third, they commit to at least one K-12 Pipeline Activity which will create relationships and opportunities for diverse and underrepresented students to attend colleges and universities and study engineering. And fourth, they commit to developing strong partnerships between research-intensive engineering schools and non-PhD-granting engineering schools serving populations underrepresented in engineering. 

Berdanier joined the other U.S. engineering school deans in signing the letter on behalf of the Engineering Deans Council (EDC) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

Presentation of the letter was a part of activities Aug. 4 at the first-ever White House Demo Day, which focused on inclusive entrepreneurship and innovation programs.  “And more than 100 deans at America’s engineering schools are committing to recruit and retain more diverse student bodies, building the pipeline for the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs because this is something we are seeing again and again and again,” said President Obama. “We are not producing all the technical talent, all the engineers that we need.”

“Participating in the national diversity commitment is a natural fit for the School of Engineering and for Fairfield University,” Berdanier said. “The Fairfield University School of Engineering mission is dedicated to providing quality educational opportunities in engineering and computer science to a diverse student population.”

#Vol. 48, No. 4

Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools.  In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

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Posted on August 26, 2015

Vol. 48, No. 4

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