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, we are committed to the following actions within the next academic year (2021-2022). These goals were developed by the Department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and were discussed by Department Faculty on September 8, 2021. 

  • Education and Professional Development Goals
    • Work collaboratively with Auburn University’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) to include a DEI workshop during annual faculty retreat 
    • Offer SafeZone and anti-racism training to all members of the department 
    • Create, maintain, and share a repository of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) resources with faculty and students 
    • Sponsor a colloquium series focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in psychological science
  • Student and Faculty Recruitment, Inclusion, and Equity Goals 
    • Recommend that each graduate program form a committee to evaluate current admissions procedures and develop a plan for a holistic admissions approach, using best practices to increase the diversity of the applicant pools and improve equity in admission and decision processes. 
    • Support the efforts of the Scholars Committed to Opportunities in Psychological Education (SCOPE)program, which is geared toward improving the recruitment and retention of BIPOC undergraduate students into graduate programs in psychology. 
    • Implement best practices for recruiting BIPOC scholars for any advertised faculty positions, in consultation with Auburn University’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity
    • Collaborate with student organizations (BGPSADiCE, etc.) to generate mental health resources and support for the student community.
    • Continue to consider the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on faculty productivity during the FAR and T&P process, recognizing that the intersecting identities of faculty (e.g., disability status, gender, race/ethnicity, and caregiving roles) are intrinsically linked to the degree to which productivity was disrupted. 
    • Evaluate options for increasing graduate student stipends.
  • Climate Goals
    • Consult with Auburn’s OID to create a sustainable plan for the regular collection and use of data on program climate.
    • Consult with Auburn’s OID to create a system for anonymous reporting of critical incidents, and install system by end of academic year. 
    • Establish annual graduate student Town Hall Meetings, with the first to occur during the spring 2022 semester.
    • Place inclusive artwork, photography, and signage in both of our main buildings (Thach Hall and Cary Hall) by the end of the fall semester.
  • Mentoring Goals
    • Implement a peer-mentoring program (based on that used in the Clinical program) for the ABA, I-O, and CaBS programs. The intention of this peer mentoring development goal is to have upper level graduate students mentor 1st year (and possibly 2nd year) graduate students. Mentoring can include providing advice on navigating the graduate program requirements, providing advice on research and grant applications. In addition, this mentoring program provides structured communication opportunities and may serve as an alternative outlet for new students to be better integrated into their respective programs. Finally, peer mentors might provide advice and feedback at the end of the year.
    •  Provide an opportunity to faculty for one training session focused on effective mentoring strategies for diverse students at the undergraduate and graduate level.
    • Develop Faculty-led talks on special topics of interest to graduate students (e.g., acquiring external funding related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion).
  • Curriculum and Courses Goals
    • Organize round-table discussions by area on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals and incorporate into classes.
    • Add consideration of DEI goals to peer teaching evaluations
    • Compile Undergraduate- and Graduate-level teaching-related DEI resources and update them annually. These will be stored in the department’s DEI repository. 
      • Develop a tracking system for local implementation of these resources. 
  • Research and Diversity Science Goals
    • Develop a repository of opportunities (grant, scholarship, conference, publishing, etc.) for minoritized students and for DEI-related work. This will be stored in the department’s DEI repository
    • Update the rubrics for departmental milestones to encourage students to connect their work with DEI goals. 
    • Provide information/training to graduate students on including statements regarding their ethical relationship with research participants, particularly for those working with BIPOC and other minoritized participant samples. 
    • Create a departmental website focused on diversity research.
  • Additionally, within the next two years, we have the following goals:
    • Recommend that each of our graduate programs implement their newly developed holistic admissions approach by the 2023 application deadline. 

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.

 

Previous Action Items (updated fall 2021)

Spring 2021 updates from DIversity Commitee available here.

Fall 2020 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

 

Last Updated: September 28, 2021