The Department of Animal and Avian Sciences (ANSC) is committed to providing student education, fostering discovery through research, and promoting sustainable growth of Maryland’s animal industries in a Departmental environment and climate that values the tenets of diversity, equity, inclusion and respect (DEIR).

To work toward these DEIR goals, an ad hoc ANSC DEIR committee was established with volunteers that represent all categories of our Department's personnel. This ad hoc committee has drafted a strategic plan – outlined on the following pages – to lead to eventual formation of a standing DEIR committee via approval of Departmental faculty. Formation of such a standing committee will ensure its sustainability and utility for the Department and will demonstrate to both internal and external constituents our Department’s commitment to the principles of DEIR. The formation of an ad hoc DEIR committee, the construction of a strategic plan, and the voting on formation of a standing DEIR committee represent measurable activities toward Goal 1 of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ (AGNR) DEIR goals: 

  1. To foster a College that respects diversity and encourages equity and inclusion.  

  2. To recruit, retain, and develop a diverse community within AGNR (faculty, staff, and students).  

  3. To provide AGNR programs to underserved, underrepresented, and/or socially and economically disadvantaged audiences.

  4. To provide communication and information technology to support the AGNR DEIR Plan.

These goals were used as an organizational schema for the remainder of this document. This strategic plan is not expected to be a static, written-in-stone document, but should evolve as ANSC integrates DEIR principles into its research, teaching and extension activities.

The ad hoc DEIR ANSC Committee proposes the following activities to work towards:

Goal 1 – CULTURE:

Develop a departmental environment and climate that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion with respect for all. For 2023-2024, several activities will be employed to achieve progress in this area.

  1. Establish an ANSC DEIR ad hoc committee. An ad hoc committee was established in May 2023 with Dr. Younggeon Jin serving as committee chair. Current members include volunteers from faculty, staff, and student populations. This ad hoc committee will serve an interim role until a standing DEIR committee is formed via faculty vote, hopefully by or before April 2024.

    1. Define standing committee membership positions and service terms: The eventual standing committee will be composed of 10 members, one each from the following groups: full professor, associate professor, assistant professor, exempt staff, nonexempt staff, lecturer, research PTK, postdoctoral associate/scholar, graduate student, and undergraduate student. All non student members will agree to a two-year appointment. Students will be encouraged to commit to a one-year appointment. If needed, elections will be held to fill vacant seats, with the ten non student members voting. Committee meeting attendance and input from non-committee members will be strongly encouraged. The committee will be run by the committee chair. Other positions including sub-committee heads and a secretary will be filled by member volunteers. Current subcommittees are:
      • Executive and Administrative (E&A)
      • DEIR Leadership Development (LDR)
      • DEIR Continuing Education (CED)
      • DEIR Recruitment and Retention (R&R)
    2. Draft an ANSC DEIR Strategic Plan. (E&A). The strategic plan will be presented to the ANSC Dept. faculty for review and approval.
    3. Have the faculty vote on creation of a standing DEIR committee.
    4. Schedule an election during 2023-2024 to fill any vacant or contested member seats. (E&A). When more than one person is interested in serving as a representative, an election will take place.  Elections can take place throughout the year to fill representative positions left vacant upon completion of a term or due to other circumstances including graduation etc. 
    5. Establish a monthly schedule for meetings. (E&A).
    6. Prepare and submit an annual report to the AGNR DEIR Council. (E&A) per AGNR guidelines.  A summary of accomplishments will be submitted to AGNR for review and input in April 2024 and every subsequent April.
    7. Maintain a Google Drive or equivalent account for storage and maintenance of all DEIR documents.
  2. Promote DEIR in professional and leadership development within ANSC. The DEIR committee is committed to facilitating and supporting departmental efforts to incorporate DEIR into our professional development. We aim to highlight ANSC colleagues who serve as role models in this regard. 

    1. Identify opportunities for DEIR awards and distribute information for departmental nominations (LDR).  The DEIR committee will research opportunities on an annual basis by conferring with ANSC faculty, the AGNR DEIR Council, and the ANSC Awards Committee. The DEIR Committee will also identify strong ANSC candidates implementing DEIR principles into their roles and either facilitate their nomination/application or assist the ANSC Awards Committee by providing specific DEIR candidate information and/or recommendations. The Committee will also regularly check AGNR and UMD awards including:
      • AGNR faculty and staff DEIR Standard of Excellence Awards 
      • UMD campus awards including the Women of Influence Award 
      • Provost’s Excellence Awards for professional track faculty
      • Staff awards including the President's Commission on Women's Issues (PCWI) Celebration of Women Awards, LGBT Staff/Faculty Association & LGBT Equity Center Awards, President's Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues (PCEMI) Awards, and President's Commission on Disability Issues (PCDI) Awards
      • Teaching Awards including the Donna B. Hamilton Awards
    2. Highlight DEIR efforts of faculty, staff, and students (LDR). The Committee will acknowledge any departmental DEIR efforts by sharing them with the AGNR Diversity Office for possible inclusion in college wide newsletters and reports (AGNR Spotlight on DEIR). We will also submit information for publication in the ANSC Newsletter as well as explore opportunities to publish on the ANSC website.
  3. Assess the departmental climate for supporting a culture of DEIR (LDR). 

    1. Schedule a “town hall meeting” style discussion with AGNR Diversity Officer Amanada Shaffer to discuss the 2022 AGNR Climate Survey (with focus on the ANSC Department when possible).
    2. Record an annual departmental inventory of all ANSC DEIR programs, resources, activities, and impacts, and report the inventory in the following ways: 
      • An ANSC DEIR poster to be presented at the poster session of the Annual Symposium
      • Posting on the ANSC Website
      • The annual Departmental progress report to be submitted to the AGNR DEIR Council in April 2024.

Goal 2 – PEOPLE:

Recruit, retain, and develop a diverse community within DEIR (faculty, staff, students).

The committee will assist and support ANSC faculty/staff hiring committees and promote recruitment and retention of underrepresented students to work in ANSC-lead research, teaching, and extension. The committee will also provide continuing education for all ANSC populations.

  1. Identify, advertise, and organize available DEIR continuing education opportunities from AGNR DEIR and other sources.

    1. Poll faculty, staff, and student demographics to determine areas of DEIR interest and request training, workshops, and/or seminars from the AGNR DEIR office (ED).
    2. Sponsor a ‘Search Committee” bias reduction workshop from the AGNR DEIR office (R&R). 
    3. Assist hiring committee chairs to learn and utilize best practices for including DEIR content in search processes including position descriptions, advertising etc. (R&R).
  2. Identify, advertise, and support research fellowships or scholarships for underrepresented graduate and undergraduate students.

    1. Research fellowship, scholarship, and travel award opportunities that will recruit and retain underrepresented minorities in animal science research. Sources will include but will not be limited to research conference support (for example, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), research society fellowships, and programs (for example, The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program) (R&R).
    2. The Committee will maintain these opportunities on the ANSC website or as posters posted in the major ANSC hallways (R&R).
    3. Interested students will be encouraged to contact the DEIR committee to match student opportunities and interests with ANSC faculty (R&R).
  3. Support ANSC faculty in incorporating DEIR principles into ANSC course curriculum.

    1. Collect annual information from instructors regarding the incorporation of new DEIR material or changes to curriculum that promote DEIR learning objectives (in conjunction with the ANSC Undergraduate Program) (ED).
    2. Develop a survey for undergraduates to determine where we are addressing issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect and utilize their feedback to improve our courses (ED).

Goal 3 – PROGRAMS:

Provide programs to underserved, underrepresented, and/or socially and economically disadvantaged audiences (partnerships and knowledge).

The ANSC DEIR Committee is currently working on how it can offer such programs, including partnerships with institutions including 1890, 1994, HBCU and Hispanic-serving institutions.

Please Note: Please check back for updates throughout the semester. Development of strategies and objectives for this goal is ongoing.

Goal 4 – SUPPORTS:

ANSC engagement with activities beyond the ANSC Department.

THE ANSC DEIR Committee aims to better engage with AGNR College, University, and local communities.

Please Note: Please check back for updates throughout the semester. Development of strategies and objectives for this goal is ongoing.