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OU’s Richard Olawoyin reappointed as chair of DEI advisory council

Oakland University Industrial and Systems Engineering Professor Richard Olawoyin has been reappointed as chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Advisory Council at ABET (the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). The appointment is effective for two years. 

ABET is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that accredits college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.  

After being appointed to a one-year term as chair of the IDEA Council in 2022, Dr. Olawoyin worked closely with the ABET leadership team to promote the values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA).

“During my first term as chair, we achieved significant positive changes, including the revision of accreditation criteria to emphasize the importance of these values in all four ABET commissions,” he said.

Dr. Olawoyin reiterated that “accreditation remains crucial in evaluating the quality and relevance of educational programs, particularly with the growing influence of artificial intelligence. Addressing disparities in knowledge access, research opportunities and cultural diversity, while also working to eliminate technological inequities, holds the potential to ensure that the benefits of the ongoing technological revolution in education are accessible to all.” 

He added: I am thrilled to have the opportunity under ‘One ABET’ to advance the principles of IDEA within ABET, its activities, volunteer network and accredited programs.”

Prior to being named chair of the IDEA Council, Dr. Olawoyin served as an ABET training mentor, a role in which experienced program evaluators are nominated and approved by ABET member societies to guide program evaluator candidates through the training process to become program evaluators. He also served as an ABET commissioner, working with other commissioners to review educational programs and make accreditation decisions. He is the past chair of the ABET Accreditation Council Training Committee - Programs with Online Components.  

Dr. Olawoyin currently serves as a support facilitator on the Program Evaluator Candidates (PEVC) Training Subcommittee, which is part of the ABET Accreditation Council Training Committee. In addition, Dr. Olawoyin serves on the executive committee of the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission (ANSAC), as the Criteria Chair and the incoming Vice Chair of Operations.  

Founded in 1932, ABET has accredited programs at nearly 900 colleges and universities worldwide. For more information, visit

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