CSE Climate Initiatives

Climate Assessment Committee

The Computer Science and Engineering Division and the College of Engineering are committed to fostering an inclusive environment, where all community members feel safe and welcome. 

CSE and the College are both working to lead change within the institution. Recent allegations of sexual harassment involving faculty of the department have left many members of the community feeling hurt, insecure, and angry. While the department under the leadership of its Chair Michael Wellman is taking actions to remedy the situation, Dean Alec Gallimore has initiated College-level parallel actions that target assessing and improving the departmental climate.


In February 2020, Dean Alec Gallimore announced the formation of the CSE Climate Assessment Committee. This independent, cross-departmental committee will be led by CLaSP Department Chair Tuija Pulkkinen. Other members include:

  • Jon Kinsey, College of Engineering Chief of Staff
  • Heidi Sherick, College of Engineering Director of Leadership Development
  • Mary-Ann Mycek, College of Engineering Associate Dean for Graduate and Professional Education, Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Rada Mihalcea, Janice M. Jenkins Collegiate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
  • Westley Weimer, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Chair of the CSE Diversity and Outreach Committee

While the committee’s final statement of task is still under development, it is focused on conducting a review of the culture and climate in the CSE division. The assessment will be done with the help of a third party, which will guarantee an outsider impartial view of the situation and sufficient expertise in these kinds of initiatives. As the results become available, the committee will assess and assist in developing an implementation plan, as well as make recommendations about how other units within the college might benefit from the study and findings. The work will be done together with the Dean’s Office.

Next steps for the committee will include:

  • Assisting the Dean in selection of the third party firm who will conduct the assessment;
  • Defining the process during the spring; and 
  • Devising a communications plan for the committee. 

The committee targets to finish its work by the end of June 2021.


02/12/2021Committee kick-off meeting with Dean Gallimore
02/15/2021Dean’s message to College community
Late FebruaryCommittee 1st meeting: statement of task, discussion of assessment firms, process timeline, communications plan 
06/30/2021Final report and recommendations to CoE and CSE


In progress