U-M highlights Diversity, Equity & Inclusion accomplishments months after plan launch

February 14, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

Four months into the implementation of U-M’s five-year diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan, many of the 49 campus units have made measurable progress toward accomplishing first-year goals.

Several units have hired staff members to lead their DE&I implementation, while programs such as Wolverine Pathways and the HAIL Scholarship have created and enhanced pipelines to the university for underrepresented populations. Universitywide, two DE&I student advisory boards were created to ensure collaboration and student engagement at all levels. Other units have begun hosting engagement sessions with students, faculty and staff to determine what has been working and what needs to be tweaked to better represent the needs of that community.

While administrators acknowledge that there is still a long road ahead, here is a list of some highlights of the DE&I plan:

  • The university has created a new campuswide leadership role, the Chief Diversity Officer, to oversee implementation of the five-year DE&I strategic plan, and to provide new campuswide resources.
  • The university also has hired a Chief Organizational Learning Officer, to oversee the development of training opportunities for all campus community members, that is designed to develop skills and behaviors that ultimately will enhance the campus climate. To date, requests for individual and unit-based training sessions are in high demand.
  • Many schools and colleges have recently hired dedicated professionals or designated existing staff to lead the DE&I strategic plan implementation within their units. New hires have been made in the School of Nursing, School of Public Health and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.
  • The regents recently approved the schematic designs for the Trotter Multicultural Center, which is expected to be completed in fall 2018. Designed as a hub for multicultural education, events and activities, the new facility will have enhanced staff capacity for innovative programming. This programming will develop cultural learning as well as health and wellness programs to support students experiencing bias or who otherwise feel excluded and unwelcome on campus.
  • There will be a call for proposals in April for small grants from a new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Innovation Fund. Faculty, staff, and students will be eligible to apply for support for new innovative ideas that will promote, enhance, and celebrate DE&I principles and values.
  • The campuswide climate survey effort that sampled faculty, staff, and students was completed in January with significantly high response rates and a report is being developed for an April release. Additionally, all U-M community members will have an opportunity to participate in a climate survey census effort that will begin in March 2017 with staff, and continue in October 2017 with faculty and students.

While these updates reflect many of the central actions listed in U-M plan, university efforts on these topics also include hundreds of initiatives outlined by the 49 planning units all across campus. For more information on the campuswide and 49 unit-level plans, please click here.