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Diversity Statement

The Division of Biological Sciences strives to promote scientific excellence in our research, teaching, and service missions. We recognize that excellence in science happens only in diverse and inclusive environments. At its core, scientific innovation flourishes from the fusion of different perspectives, which are inherently linked to the composition of the academic community. We embrace the evidence that a diverse scholarly community stimulates scientific innovation and educational excellence. 

Therefore, we are committed to becoming a scholarly community in which all participants feel equally welcome and encouraged to contribute. This commitment is reflected in our goal of increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in our Division at all levels.

The Division of Biological Sciences is committed to:

  1. building an inclusive, unbiased and prejudice-free environment that

– values, respects, and welcomes all individuals with their diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Because of the historic and current situations, we are in particular concerned about issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation*.

– provides an environment for all individuals, including those from underrepresented groups, to excel in their academic and professional development

  1. providing a community in which all its members (i.e., faculty, staff, and students)

– are expected to respectfully interact with all faculty, staff, students, and the public.

– recognize the importance of having different perspectives in the classroom and beyond, which is fostered by having a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff.

  1. further increasing the diversity of our faculty, staff, and students by recruiting andretaining members of underrepresented groups, particularly those underrepresented in the Division and in biological sciences nationwide.

Our commitment requires that all faculty, staff, and students of the Division actively promote an inclusive environment in which all members of the DBS community and visitors feel welcome. As individuals we will strive to recognize our implicit biases and work actively to minimize their influence on our interactions, opinions, and decisions. Depending on our roles in the department, we have different avenues and responsibilities to foster inclusiveness:

As faculty, we are committed to: 

–  being role models for promoting diversity and being respectful and inclusive in our interactions with all members of the department, the university community, and the public.

– developing teaching and mentoring practices that foster inclusiveness and diverse experiences, promoting equal participation of all groups

– continually revising our teaching methods to avoid approaches that can inadvertently hamper the success of students

As staff, we are committed to: 

– developing practices and policies that foster inclusiveness and diverse experiences, promoting equal participation of all groups

–  appreciating diverse experiences as opportunities for personal and professional growth

–  welcoming opportunities for professional development, including those addressing diversity and inclusiveness in our workforce and society

As students, we are committed to: 

–  being respectful of others in the community, such as peers, faculty, and staff, regardless of their backgrounds

– appreciating the opportunity to interact with people of different backgrounds

– utilizing diverse experiences as opportunities for personal and intellectual growth

– being receptive to new ideas and opinions

The Division of Biological Sciences aspires to become a model for the appreciation, enhancement, and implementation of diversity and inclusion both at MU and within the broader academic community. Broadening participation in science and generating an inclusive and diverse atmosphere will make our science better and is our social responsibility.

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*without disregarding other dimensions of diversity, such as gender identity, ethnic, socioeconomic, and national backgrounds, age, religious affiliation, physical abilities, learning disabilities, family and parental status, and veteran status.