Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Respect

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

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources joins the University of Maryland’s renewed commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and respect (DEIR) for our community. We will serve as a key partner and leader by engaging our deep network of internal and external audiences to offer opportunity and a home for the underserved, underrepresented, and disadvantaged. A diverse community of students, staff, and faculty will reinforce AGNR’s commitment to excellence. We invite you to explore the information below related to:

  • The AGNR DEIR Strategic Plan
  • Faculty & Staff Initiatives
  • Student Initiatives 
  • The DEIR Council 
  • Additional AGNR resources 

Observing the Past While Transforming the Future: A Reaffirmed Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect

Cover of AGNR DEIR Plan featuring entrance gate to University of MarylandThis plan, the first in the history of our college, is a bold, multi-layered, and 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.


Mission, Vision & Goals

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

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.

DEIR Council

The AGNR DEIR Council’s mission is to effectuate the College’s DEIR plan to improve diversity, inclusion, and equality within the college community by promoting dialogue, providing information, and fostering respect for all students, faculty, and staff, and AGNR clientele. 

Elected by their peers and appointed by the dean, the Council membership represents the diversity of thought, background, and experience of our on-campus and statewide faculty and staff of over 1000 strong. 

View the Council charge and list of members here.

Diversity Spotlight

Women's History month graphic featuring headshots of multiple female staff & faculty membersFor Women's History Month, AGNR paid tribute to six of our women faculty and staff who are making exceptional strides in research, education, Extension outreach, and administration. 

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Artistic rendering of Ripple site designA diverse team of alumni and students created a self-sustaining eco-restoration base, Ripple. With their design, the team will create a flexible space that allows humans to regenerate native plant diversity and ecological wisdom of the Great Basin region, in an effort to pay equal homage to the land and the indigenous tribes who once lived there.

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Student researcher conducting field work in a mangroveBorn and raised in Cameroon, postdoctoral researcher Magdalene Ngeve recently co-published a large-scale study examining the genetic diversity of mangroves over more than 1,800 miles of coastline in the Western Indian Ocean, including Eastern Africa and several islands.

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