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Department of Psychological Sciences
Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of Psychological Sciences at Auburn University recognizes, values, and upholds the contributions of students, staff, and faculty from diverse race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, age, country of origin, disability, physical stature and body size, religious or spiritual beliefs, socioeconomic class, and political beliefs. We are especially committed to increasing the representation of those populations that have been historically excluded from participation in U.S. higher education as a whole, and the field of psychological sciences, specifically. 

Acknowledging the history and effects of systemic racism and discrimination, our department firmly stands for social justice for all people within and beyond our campus, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. 

To this end, our committee has the following broad aims. Within each aim, we indicate our specific goals for the 2023-2024 academic year. These goals were developed by the Department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and were discussed by department faculty. 

Aim 1. Enhance recruitment of Department of Psychological Sciences faculty and graduate students from historically marginalized/excluded backgrounds, while also working to improve retention of existing faculty and students by ensuring they thrive and feel supported. 

Relevant goals for 2023-2024

  • Continue to work with Auburn University’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity to implement best practices for recruiting historically marginalized/excluded scholars for any advertised faculty positions.
  • Although our department internally approved an updated tenure and promotion policy that incorporates DEI activities in Spring 2022, it has remained stalled at the college level. We will continue to advocate for it to proceed through the review process so that it can be adopted by the end of the academic year.
  • Upon receiving feedback on the department tenure & promotion policy from the college and provost’s office, update the Faculty Annual Review policy to incorporate and encourage DEI activities and obtain department-level approval by the end of this academic year.
  • Apply for funding through the Office of Inclusion and Diversity to expand the AUBiE fellowship program piloted in AY 22-23. This program invites early career scholars (e.g., post-doctoral fellows, advanced graduate students) from historically marginalized/excluded backgrounds to our department to provide a colloquium and meet with faculty and students. By forging these connections, we aim to diversify our applicant pool for faculty positions over time. 
  • Continue to support the Scholars Committed to Opportunities in Psychological Education program, which is geared toward improving the recruitment and retention of BIPOC undergraduate students into graduate programs in psychology. 
  • Graduate programs will implement newly developed holistic admissions approach for the 2023-24 application cycle.
  • Pilot an approach for developing partnerships between our department and local organizations serving diverse community members. We hope this will assist in recruiting faculty interested in working with diverse populations, as they will not need to start from scratch. By the end of this academic year, we intend to have had several meetings with a local organization and some ideas for how our department can address some of their needs through research and outreach.

Aim 2: Provide programming to enhance the intergroup competencies and practices of the faculty and graduate students in the Department of Psychological Sciences. 

Relevant goals for 2023-2024

  • Execute two departmental colloquia in Fall and Spring related to DEI topics. 
  • In collaboration with Psi Chi, coordinate a Safe Zone training for undergraduate neuroscience and psychology majors.
  • Develop a plan to ensure that all clinical psychology PhD students complete Safe Zone training prior to engaging in direct clinical services. 
  • Identify training topics and facilitators for department trainings for AY 24-25.  

Aim 3: Advance research and support for incorporating DEI goals and materials into our curriculum and courses.

Relevant goals for 2023-2024

  • Continue to update repository with class resources/activities and share details on use so far.
  • Host faculty roundtable discussions by area, at least 1 per semester.
  • Set up more faculty recommendations in partnership with graduate student, tailored by area, and evaluate course materials. 

Aim 4: Expand resources, access, and publicity for diversity science research.

Relevant goals for 2023-2024

  • Prepare a report on the undergraduate survey we collected. Develop a faculty survey about repository use and classroom DEI goals this semester and an updated survey for undergraduates in the Spring.
  • Continue to update new materials in the repository (including information on funding, awards, and research opportunities at all levels) and make updates to improve navigation. 
  • Update our information on the Undergraduate department page.
  • Add new DEI materials on research highlights to website.

Aim 5: Assess and address department climate across all stakeholders and cultivate inclusive physical space in the department.

Relevant goals for 2023-2024

  • Ongoing consultation with Office of Inclusion & Diversity and the College of Liberal Arts on a sustainable plan for regular assessment of department climate.
  • Increase departmental awareness of the resources available through the AU Bias Education and Response Team.
  • Establish a support group for graduate students from marginalized or underrepresented identities.
  • Continue to ensure that departmental work and learning spaces feature inclusive signage and artwork.

We recognize engaging in cultural humility and dismantling racism and discrimination is an ongoing process. Our department strives to challenge and keep ourselves and each other accountable throughout this process as we fulfill our mission.


Spring 2024 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

Fall 2023 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

Spring 2023 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

Fall 2022 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

Spring 2022 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

Fall 2021 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

Spring 2021 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

Fall 2020 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

Psychology Department 2021-2022 DEI Goals

Psychology Department 2020-2021 DEI Goals