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 2022-2023 academic year. These goals were developed by the Department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and were discussed by Department Faculty on September 28, 2022. 

Aim 1. Enhance recruitment of Department of Psychology 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 2022-2023

  • 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.
  •  Continue to evaluate options for increasing graduate student stipends internally, while also strongly and publicly advocating university leadership to provide additional resources to support our graduate students. 
  • Our department internally approved an updated tenure and promotion policy that incorporates DEI activities, and we will advocate for it to proceed through the college and university review processes so that it can be officially adopted by the end of the academic year. 
  • 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 pilot a junior visiting scholar award that would invite 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 would 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 continue to work toward fully implementing newly developed holistic admissions approach by the 2023 application deadline. 

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 2022-2023

  • Execute two departmental colloquia in Fall related to DEI topics.
  • Facilitate department colloquium in Spring on DEI topics and issues in the psychological sciences. 
  • 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 in Fall 2023. 
  • Identify speakers for research colloquia in AY 2023-24.  

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

Relevant goals for 2022-2023

  • Continue adding new materials as references in our department’s DEI repository
  • Develop up a system for easily navigating repository materials and tracking their use
  • Continue holding routine faculty round table discussions, at least once per semester per program
  • Consider DEI goals in peer teaching evaluations by evaluating our department syllabi
  • Solicit graduate and undergraduate student feedback about incorporating DEI content throughout our department’s curricula 

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

Relevant goals for 2022-2023

  • Organize information on funding, award, and research opportunities on the department’s website
  • Obtain approval for new departmental milestone rubrics and implement their use by the end of the academic year. 
  • Add materials describing our department’s diversity-focused research to our website
  • Seek funding opportunities to expand undergraduate access to research opportunities (e.g., conference travel, paid research assistantships)

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

Relevant goals for 2022-2023

  • 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.

 

Previous Action Items (updated fall 2022)

Previous Action Items (updated fall 2021)

Spring 2021 updates from DIversity Commitee available here.

Fall 2020 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

Fall 2021 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

Spring 2022 updates from Diversity Committee available here.

 

Last Updated: September 29, 2022