Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Respect

AGNR's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Respect

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) reaffirms our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and respect (DEIR) for all with our inaugural DEIR strategic plan (2021-2026).

Given our unique role as the cornerstone college of the University of Maryland we recognize that a diverse, inclusive community increases our ability to successfully carry out our land-grant mission of research, education, and extension.

Our DEIR plan is a deliberate effort to ensure that our college is a place where different perspectives are welcomed and heard. A community with a vibrant climate of inclusiveness contributes to our continued excellence and increases our collective capabilities. Our commitment to DEIR will be one of our greatest attributes and strengths moving forward.

We invite you to explore the AGNR DEIR Strategic Plan, Faculty & Staff Initiatives, Student Initiatives and Campus Resources listed below. The DEIR Council, updates on progress, and a collection of stories that highlight AGNR DEIR efforts are found in the menu list in the side bar. 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect

Cover of AGNR DEIR Plan featuring entrance gate to University of Maryland"Observing the Past While Transforming the Future" is a bold leadership driven effort to establish the ideal embodiment of AGNR:  a diverse educational community where all individuals are included and treated with the utmost respect.

AGNR DEIR Plan

Mission: AGNR embodies the university's land-grant mission with a commitment to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, preserve our natural resources, improve quality of life, and empower the next generation through world-class education. The AGNR DEIR mission is to become a diverse college where all individuals are equally welcomed, included, and respected for their differences.

Vision: Our vision is to incorporate DEIR efforts in all AGNR college-wide and the unit level strategic and operational efforts so that it becomes a seamless and a common element in planning, programming, and employment. As the cornerstone college of the University of Maryland we further see our college taking a leadership role among land-grant institutions as we meet the needs of all people by our authentic commitment to equity, inclusion, and respect.

Goals: The DEIR plan includes four primary goals

  1. Foster a college that respects diversity and encourages equity and inclusion.
  2. Recruit, retain, and develop a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students.
  3. Provide AGNR programs to underserved, underrepresented, and/or socially and economically disadvantaged audiences.
  4. Communication and Information Technology support to increase access and engagement with AGNR programs and DEIR initiatives.

Faculty & Staff Initiatives 

Faculty member sitting at their computer

Staff member presenting at a conference

Faculty and student researchers in a laboratory

Two researchers working on a project in the woods

Outreach: AGNR will provide college level DEIR capacity and funding support for unit’s outreach efforts to underserved, underrepresented, and/or socially disadvantaged audiences to assure continuous DEIR programs throughout the college. This would include outreach efforts to reach underserved minority audiences where data shows efforts are needed. AGNR will provide college level training in addition to training that may be offered at the unit level to assure consistency and that DEIR training is tied to DEIR goals. 

Leadership Development: Employment data shows the need for action to support leadership development of AGNR women and minority faculty, and exempt employees. AGNR will develop a program that will include leadership training, leadership development and mentoring, and identifying short term and permanent leadership opportunities for women and minorities. The leadership program is viewed as a DEIR program with potential opportunities for external funding support.

Language Translation: Beyond AGNR’s outreach efforts, language translation is a crucial element of efforts to reach audiences who may be Limited English Proficient (LEP) and/or English is not their primary language. In addition, a LEP plan is required of AGNR by USDA as part of our civil rights programs. Our efforts will reach beyond the minimum requirements of USDA LEP guidance and become more inclusive of Marylanders. We will provide college level training, provide language tools, and encourage staff to become certified translators or interpreters in at least the top seven languages spoken in Maryland.

Pathways, Pipelines & Possibilities: AGNR “Grow Your Own strategy: AGNR is committed to a “Grow your own” long-term strategy to increase the number of underrepresented faculty, staff, and graduate students. AGNR academic units will develop three distinct programs: 1) PATHWAYS defined from professional track faculty to tenure track faculty and 2) PIPELINE activities for undergraduate student to graduate student progression, and beyond to academic or to staff employment, and 3) POSSIBILITIES for engagement of high school students into AGNR programs of study.  “Grow Your Own” programs will be unit supported from the college level.

Student Initiatives

High school students standing with AGNR leadership by M Circle on campus

MANNRS logo, two sets of hands together making the shape of an M

Two faculty members standing by a Testudo statue that has pearls on it

Student in a laboratory smiling

AGNR offers scholarships and programs like PEARLS and SOARE to encourage and develop the talented undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in our academic majors. We also offer High School students an opportunity to earn college credits in Ag Discovery

Ag Discovery is a 3-week college-credit program for high school students to learn about the wide range of opportunities in agricultural science while experiencing the UMD campus. Sponsored by AGNR and USDA/APHIS. 

The AGNR chapter of the national program Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) promotes academic and professional advancement by empowering minorities in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences. MANRRS is "Changing the Face of Agriculture by Linking Hands Around the World". 

The P.E.A.R.L.S. program (Provide Educational Access to Research & Learning in geoscienceS) goal is to increase access to the geosciences for non-traditional geoscience majors, women, under-served, and underrepresented minorities (URM). The program provides extracurricular experiences and training in geoscience to develop a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce. 

Summer Opportunities in Agricultural Research & the Environment (SOARE)  is a 10-week on-campus research experience for underrepresented undergraduate students to be part of a research team and learn about the culture of graduate school. SOARE includes a stipend and is a partnership between AGNR, The Big Ten Alliance Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), and The UMD Graduate School.

Campus Resources

This general campus information if offered as a resource for the AGNR community. Suggestions for additional DEIR related resources are welcome and can be emailed to the Diversity Officer.

Campus DEIR Resources

Faculty Resources

  • The ADVANCE program works to support the recruitment, retention, advancement and professional growth of women and under-represented minority faculty at the University of Maryland. Initially supported by NSF, they are now supported through a campus-wide investment in faculty development and inclusive excellence by the Provost's Office, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Office of Research, and all college deans.
  • UMD is an Institutional Member of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity. As an institutional member, all faculty members, postdocs, and graduate students at the University have free access to the following member resources: Weekly Monday Motivator; Monthly Core Curriculum Webinars; Monthly Guest Expert Webinars; Access to Multi-Week Courses; Access to Dissertation Success Curriculum for graduate students; Private Discussion Forum; for peer-mentoring, problem-solving, & moderated writing challenges; Monthly accountability buddy matches; Access to 14-Day Writing Challenges; Access to the Member Library that includes past webinar materials, referrals, and readings.
  • Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity (CRGE) is a university-wide, interdisciplinary research organization and pedagogic unit that collaborates with departments and colleges across the University of Maryland campus to promote faculty and graduate student development.

Student Resources

  • Accessibility and Disability Services (ADS). The ADS Office is staffed by dedicated professionals who are available to assist, consult, support, and advocate on behalf of individuals requesting disability services. Established in 1986, UMD's President’s Commission on Disability Issues is responsible for advising the President on issues of concern to people with disabilities and bringing awareness to the campus community on disability and equal access issues.
  • International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) assists international students with transitioning to the U.S., advising on immigration requirements, and making the most of their academic experience here. ISSS also assists the campus community involved with international educational exchange in the process of bringing international visitors to campus, or in sending Maryland faculty and students abroad.
  • Multicultural Involvement Community Advocacy (MICA) supports all students at the University of Maryland through their work which focuses on: providing opportunities and spaces for all students that affirm identities; building inclusive communities among diverse members; creating social change - locally, nationally and globally.
  • Nyumburu Cultural Center focuses on African-American students and students of the African Diaspora, both undergraduate and graduate; fostering greater involvement of these students in campus initiatives and instilling in these students an informed consciousness of their African-American, Caribbean, and African heritages. Nyumburu is an excellent place for cultural exchange, intersectionality, and collaborations, enabling the University to make greater strides in achieving genuine cultural pluralism.
  • Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equity envisions the University as a fully equitable community that empowers innovators and agents of social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. The LGBT Equity Center serves University of Maryland students, staff, faculty, and alumni of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
  • Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education (OMSE) offers a variety of services and programs to enhance the academic experience of undergraduate students of various underrepresented ethnic backgrounds at the University, working toward building a positive and sensitive community of learners.
  • University Chaplains work collectively in an open, inclusive environment of many cultures and faiths, to serve the spiritual needs of the University. The Chaplains demonstrate a unity that contributes to the rich diversity and quality of life at the University and in the community.
  • UMD recognizes the extraordinary contributions of members of our armed services, at Veteran Student Life, there are a variety of resources that serve veterans and those who are military-connected on campus, including STEM Tutoring.
  • The University also provides general, specialized counseling services related to diversity and inclusion.

Staff Resources

  • Established in 1986, UMD's President’s Commission on Disability Issues is responsible for advising the President on issues of concern to people with disabilities and bringing awareness to the campus community on disability and equal access issues.  This Accessibility Hub provides information and resources for members of the University community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
  • The Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) provides a comprehensive and representative Black perspective on institutional, societal and programmatic development on campus. The BFSA encourages and supports the efforts of upward mobility of minority faculty and staff at all levels of the University, and offers both leadership and supportive services (administrative and academic) to facilitate the delivery of efficient and effective services to the University.
  • The Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) assists faculty and staff with a variety of problem areas, including job difficulties; alcohol and drug problems; marital and family problems; emotional distress (anxiety, depression, stress-related disorders, etc.); legal, financial and a variety of other concerns.
  • Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equity envisions the University as a fully equitable community that empowers innovators and agents of social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. The LGBT Equity Center serves University of Maryland students, staff, faculty, and alumni of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
  • University Chaplains work collectively in an open, inclusive environment of many cultures and faiths, to serve the spiritual needs of the University. The Chaplains demonstrate a unity that contributes to the rich diversity and quality of life at the University and in the community.

Spouses, Partners, and Family Care Services

  • The Family Care Resource & Referral Service at the University of Maryland was created to assist University of Maryland faculty, staff, and students with their family care needs and concerns.
  • Family Services site contains information on Lactation Rooms On Campus and Changing Stations On Campus, as well as a private listserv for parents who work or study at UMD.
  • Campus Advocates Respond and Educate (CARES) serves as a free and confidential resource to address incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual harassment affecting all genders of the University community.

Contact

Amanda Shaffer, Diversity Officer
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland
Office: Symons Hall, Room 1122