Dept. of CBE: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The faculty of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have instituted a policy going forward to review, discuss, and act on issues pertaining to racism in STEM. We understand that this will be a continuing process that we will be addressing regularly. We will post new insights and processes here as they become available.

Principles of Community for the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Our department affirms the importance of an inclusive, supportive environment, free of bullying, hostile, intimidating, or harassing communication, whether verbal, visual, or physical. We disavow discrimination of any kind, including based on a community member’s nationality, race, color, religion, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender, or gender expression.  We recognize that good people can cause harm and that offensive and discriminatory behavior is harmful regardless of the original intent. We aspire to always prioritize the impact on those who were harmed above the intent of those who caused harm. We aim to approach situations with a mind open to taking responsibility for harm we  have caused and addressing it appropriately when it is brought to our attention. We recognize that our culture, university, discipline, and department carry a legacy of racism which we eschew.  We are committed to fostering a diverse community, where all are treated with respect and dignity.  We expect everyone to provide thoughtful feedback on ideas shared amongst community members and differences of opinion to be handled constructively and without ad hominem criticism. We expect community members to follow the UC Berkeley honor code, which compels all to act with honor, integrity, and respect for others.  

Examples of behaviors we aspire to:

  • Helping without condescension
  • Welcoming and embracing difference without tokenizing
  • Respecting boundaries
  • Sharing responsibility for communal tasks
  • Being open to feedback as an opportunity for personal growth not for defensiveness
  • Respecting the privacy of the members of our community

Behaviors We Recognize as Harmful include, but are not limited to:

  • Stereotyping
  • Not learning someone’s pronouns, name, or proper name pronunciation
  • Commenting on someone’s physical attributes
  • Essentializing someone’s identity
  • Sharing details of someone else’s personal life without their consent
  • Harassment, bullying, and discrimination of any kind as outlined in University Policy

If you would like to discuss a situation in which we as a community or an individual have failed to live up to the Principles of Community and in doing so have caused harm, we have outlined steps, or options, for addressing this harm at this link.

Our Commitment to Diversity

CBE recognizes that a diverse faculty, staff, and student body is vital to producing future leaders, creating innovative research, and serving society. Our faculty and students collaborate on a range of programs aimed at promoting diversity, from undergraduate and graduate outreach to academic support and pre-professional advancement.

At the college level

Read about the College of Chemistry's strategic plan and learn about DEIB leadership.

At the department level

  • The faculty of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) at UC Berkeley determined the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) is a proven identifier of race and socio-economic status. Its association with successful completion of the doctorate is minimal, and its fulfillment is an economic burden on applicants. CBE is no longer considering it for admission.
  • We improved our Ph.D. exit surveys to ask more questions pertaining to the experiences of graduates, allowing them to share insights into their experiences that can allow for change.
  • We provide graduate application fee waivers so that economic pressure to apply can be avoided.
  • We reaffirm that up to 2 CBE students and faculty that wish to attend a major URM STEM conference (e.g., SACNAS, NSBE, NOBCChE, SWE, etc.) can do so on departmental funding by applying as directed.
  • We can commit up to 10 total student and faculty per year to attend these conferences.
  • We have provided space and funding for an antiracism library that is led by students.

Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering believes that a diverse student body, faculty and staff are critical to our mission of educating leaders, creating knowledge, and serving society. The college’s faculty and staff are deeply involved in the programs listed here — which support first-generation students, underrepresented minorities, women, transfer students, veterans and others — and the department provides significant support (both in terms of financial support and in terms of participation) for ongoing and expanded opportunities. These and other campus programs help our students develop academically, professionally and as leaders.

  • Informational table at diversity conferences such as NSBE, SWE, OSTEM, SACNAS, SHPE and ABRCMS. For dates please visit our Facebook page.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion CBE Committee
  • Participation in Graduate Division’s Diversity Day for Admitted Students in March
  • Chancellor’s Plans to Advance Faculty Diversity
  • Department-hosted Graduate Women’s events

In addition, the CBE department works with the Graduate Division and the Office of Faculty Equity and Welfare to identify and recruit prospective graduate students and faculty who will advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the department and the University.

UC Berkeley is committed to Diversity.

Additional reading and videos: 

Creating a university where we’re all our ‘full, authentic selves', UC Berkeley News.

UC Berkeley & CBE Codes of Conduct

Berkeley CBE students are expected to adhere to all aspects of the university's Student Code of Conduct. Faculty are expected to adhere to the university's Faculty Code of Conduct.

Policy on Sexual Harassment

The University of California and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering are committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals who participate in University programs and activities can work and learn together in an environment free of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. Every member of the community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence, and that such behavior violates both law and University policy.

Resources for Reporting Intolerance and Advancing Equity and Inclusion

Other Important Links