Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
BioSciences DEI Committee By-Laws

BioSciences DEI Committee By-Laws

Section 1: Introduction

The BioSciences Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee is a representative body of the BioSciences department created to better understand and address issues pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the BioSciences department. The committee is dedicated to supporting and advancing efforts that cultivate a culture of belonging for members within our department. The committee is composed of and primarily serves the graduate students, post-docs, faculty, and staff of the BioSciences department.

Section 2: Committee Composition

The DEI Committee, being a representative body of the BioSciences department, should aim to have the following minimum composition with a maximum membership of 18:

  • 1 Graduate student from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • 1 Graduate student from Biochemistry and Cell Biology
  • 1 Post doctoral fellows
  • 1 Lab staff
  • 1 Administrative staff
  • 1 Non-tenure track teaching faculty
  • 2 Tenured or Tenure-track faculty
  • 1 Department Chair (Ex Officio)
  • 1 BioSciences representative on NatSci DEI committee (Ex Officio)

Section 3: Election and Terms

Elections will be held every year before the end of the Spring semester. Eligible members to be appointed to the committee include graduate students and faculty that are beyond their first year, all post-docs, and all staff. Applicants will be required to write a short essay on how they plan to contribute to the committee in furthering the department’s DEI mission. The committee will review the applications and select applicants with preferred committee composition in mind. Faculty members should expect to serve for 3 years. Other members should expect to serve 2 year terms. Terms should be staggered so that less than half of the committee is replaced each year. If the committee does not solicit enough applications during the election cycle to fill the preferred committee composition, applications may continue to be accepted on a rolling basis for the position throughout the year.

Section 4: Duties and Responsibilities

4.1 Duties of all members

  • Prioritize meeting attendance
  • Attend events hosted by the DEI committee
  • Serve as a point of contact for members of the BioSciences community
  • Interface with other committees on campus through membership on those committees
  • Create, plan and host events
  • Writing commemoration emails and
  • Drafting other communication and policy of the committee

4.2 Duties of the committee chair

  • Set the agenda of the meetings
  • Conduct business of the meeting
  • Work with the committee to set short and long term goals for the committee
  • Serve as a point of contact for interaction with other parts of the University

Section 5: Meetings

Regular meetings should be held biweekly during the Fall and Spring semesters, and on an as-needed basis during the Summer. Meeting times should be determined before the semester begins. During the meetings, there will be an assigned person for taking meeting notes, which will rotate each meeting, but all will work to ensure that the notes are accurate and thorough. Meeting agendas will be set by the chair, but all committee members are able to modify and add items to the agenda by emailing the committee before the start of the meeting.

Section 6: Committee Engagement with Department

6.1 Communication with the department
Before the end of the Fall and Spring semesters, the committee will distribute a newsletter to the department that recaps the progress made over that semester and advises of the committee’s future plans.

Before the end of each semester the committee should review and distribute suggested syllabus statements and other suggestions to improve equity and inclusion in teaching

The committee should regularly seek input from the department through meetings or climate surveys

The DEI committee should act as the voice of the department when responding to current events, such as issues pertaining to justice and equity. This communication should happen at the discretion of the committee.

6.2 Events with the department
In order to accomplish the committee’s mission of advancing efforts to create a more inclusive environment, the committee should host at least 2 events per semester that build a sense of community and/or educate the department on DEI issues related to our fields or academia.

Rev: 4/19/23