The Future of Diversity at the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering

The Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) is committed to a culture that supports diversity in our student body, staff, faculty, and leadership. As a minority-serving institution (MSI), a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution (AANAPISI), supporting a diverse student population is at the core of our mission. Our diversity plan has two focal points: supporting our diverse undergraduate student population, which leads to success as measured by increases in 6-year graduation rates and increasing the diversity of our faculty, who serve as role models to our students. 

Achieving a successful inclusive culture requires an ongoing commitment to establishing programs and continually evaluating their success. The following are strategies for BCOE to continue leadership in diversity:

Undergraduate students 

BCOE has taken multiple steps to support student learning and increase graduation rates. These include forming engineering learning communities, residential housing, and extensive transfer student support.

  • Greater parity in undergraduate engineering students who are women 
    • Continuation of existing programs and development of new ones focused on building the pipeline of students in ways that encourage young women to pursue engineering.
    • Expand Bourns Engineering Day and Dia de Ciencias, the college’s most significant pipeline outreach events that attract 2,500+ young scholars to campus for STEM projects, by applying more resources to register groups of young women such as Girl Scouts.
    • Instill career interest in young women through programs such as CS 4 All Code Camp and our Summer Engineering Program, focusing on robotics.
    • Establish new partnerships with area school districts through our campus MESA program.
    • Partner with area high schools to participate in or develop a STEM club such as Lead the Way.
    • Be purposeful in marketing college programs to ensure BCOE highlights successful female students on social media, in printed collateral, in email newsletters, etc. 
  • Greater parity across disciplines for undergraduate engineering students who are women 
    • Expand the successful CS 4 All Code Camp initiative to welcome more women and URM students to coding as a career. Secure additional funding support to host more than two sessions and expand attendance if possible.
    • Expand the newly established Summer Engineering Program to include more Redlands Unified School District students. If possible, secure additional funding support to host additional sessions and branch out to other area school districts to teach students robotics.
    • Host school events with young women to hear TED-style talks by BCOE faculty members who are women working in non-traditional engineering careers.
  • Increase undergraduate engineering students who are African-American
    • Support the college’s NSBE chapter to grow and participate in recruitment efforts.
    • Select and train paid peer mentors from NSBE to work with local middle and high schools and community colleges to make BCOE the college of choice for African-American students.
    • Connect NSBE leadership with advisor members to create a supportive structure beyond the student base.
    • Establish partnerships with HBCUs to create 3-2 programs where students spend three years at the HBCU and two years at UCR, earning B.S. and M.S. degrees.
  • Decrease the time to degree 
    • Further, evaluate the learning community format and seek additional efficiencies.
    • Evaluate course selection options and add additional quarter options as needed should availability hinder time to a degree.
  • Increase transfer student year-one retention 
    • Seek additional grant funding opportunities to expand Transfer Transition Program (TTP) support.
    • Conduct post survey for transfer students who discontinue to understand barriers to degree better.
    • Survey current transfer students to understand specific challenges the college’s transfer student population faces.
  • Improve transfer student year three graduation rates 
    • Seek additional grant funding opportunities to expand Transfer Transition Program (TTP) support.
    • Development of co-op programs that assist students in completing their degrees on time and with a career pathway upon graduation.
    • Further, formalize undergraduate research opportunities.
    • Seek funding for and develop programs that provide additional transfer-specific student advisement.

Graduate Students 

BCOE has the following goals to build a pipeline of graduate students:

  • Expand the college’s B.S. + M.S. program
  • Begin introducing pathways to success early in a student’s educational career
    • Work closely with student organizations to inform students of post-baccalaureate opportunities


With regard to Faculty, BCOE has the following goals:

  • Increase through hiring and enhanced retention both the number and percentage of faculty from underrepresented minority groups;
  • Increase through hiring and enhanced retention both the number and percentage of women faculty;
  • Increase the professional visibility of UCR female and URM faculty;
  • Increase the number of URM and female faculty in research, professional, and administrative leadership roles.

The overall goal is to have an excellent and successful faculty that achieves parity with the percentage representations of all in societal groups. BCOE’s strategies to achieve these goals include:

  • Invest in faculty recruitment advertisements in those outlets that target diverse audiences.
  • Collaborate with regional and national chapters of professional organizations to reach diverse audiences for faculty recruitment, leadership training, and professional visibility.
  • Collaborate with our professional colleagues to identify and nurture a diverse pool of future faculty.
  • Promote strong faculty mentoring programs. 
  • Seek grant funding opportunities for targeted faculty hiring and leadership development.
  • Pilot our own or collaborate with other institutions on diversity-focused hiring programs using internal, UC, or extramural funding. 
  • Seek opportunities to provide all faculty training on topics such as implicit biases.
  • Reduce the potential for implicit biases to affect faculty evaluations (e.g., reducing the effect of implicit bias in teaching evaluations and educating students and faculty about implicit bias).
  • Continue using the candidates’ diversity statements as a primary selection criteria.
  • Invest in leadership development.
  • Ensure equal recognition opportunities for all faculty.
  • Ensure recognition of efforts by all faculty to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. 


Visit the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to learn more about UCR's commitment to creating a campus reflective of the community we serve. 
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