Mission, Vision, and Strategic Plan


We build possibility. We advance systems and technologies for people and communities to create accessible, sustainable, and prosperous futures.

We create intersections. We thrive at the critical junction of research, education, and community to cultivate equity, access, and opportunity.


We believe a just future is possible. We will be the leading academic program integrating empathy and collaboration to design and engineer equitable practices, tools, and technologies across the globe.


The HCDE five-year Strategic Plan, launched in 2019, is designed to align the department around a bold path for the next five years.

The HCDE strategic plan was developed by a committee of HCDE faculty, staff, and students, with broad input from the community. Our goals represent our commitment to expanding awareness of our research and academic programs, advancing diversity and equity across our work and communities, and ensuring that we maintain a world-class educational experience.

Our Goals

Goal: Advance HCDE as a high quality, influential, interdisciplinary design and engineering program, and ensure our mission and vision are widely recognized.

We are dedicated to expanding awareness of our program and gaining international recognition as the leading interdisciplinary design and engineering program.

Goal: Balance total HCDE program size and scope with demand, ensuring the financial stability and sustainability to maintain excellence in teaching and research

We will respond to the growing demand of our programs while ensuring we have proper resources—personnel, financial, and space—to accommodate growth.

Goal: Advance and sustain diversity and equity across our work and communities

We are commited to further developing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices across our teaching, learning, hiring, and outreach.

Goal: Develop and execute a strategic approach to bolstering and diversifying high-quality research and research impact

In the next five years we will identify and pursue new research collaborations and opportunities to communicate our research impact.

Goal: Strengthen integration with the College of Engineering’s current goals and influence future goals

We will continue to explore interdisciplinary collaboration across the College to strengthen research output and raise visibility of HCDE's signature pedagogical methods.

As we work to achieve our goals, these are the principles that will guide our work:

Guiding Principles

Our work is continuous. We are committed to the ongoing, evolving process of teaching and practicing equitable design, acknowledging our responsibility for the things we create and the actions we take. These are the principles that guide our work: 


We respect all individuals, communities, and their agency. We assume positive intent on behalf of those we work with and strive to understand before acting.


We centralize the needs of those who are often marginalized. We work to create environments and practices that are open and safe for all participants and perspectives from all social identities.


We celebrate innovation, iteration, and reflection using interdisciplinary methods and perspectives. As we endeavor toward excellence, we take considered risks and learn from mistakes. We seek opportunities for collaborative exploration and partnerships.


We are action-oriented toward challenges while continually questioning and improving. We continue to follow and study the repercussions of our actions so that they maximize the possible benefits while anticipating and minimizing possible harms.