Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Strategic Planning Update


By Katrina Wade-Golden

Over the past year, the University has undertaken a planning process to more fully engage issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into how we work, learn, lead, and serve in our schools, colleges, and administrative units. Across campus, 49 units were established as planning entities, including all of our schools and colleges, other academic affairs units, student life, administrative offices, athletics, and the health system. Nearly 100 strategic planning leads were identified to lead the local planning efforts. Later, scores of additional planning leads were recruited to engage with the process across the health system. This planning process yielded 50 plans – 49 unit plans, and the overarching U-M level plan. The plans have undergone an iterative review process, including a review by the area leadership body, as well as the Office of the General Counsel.

Regularly scheduled meetings led by area plan facilitators bolstered the plan’s development process across campus. These community gatherings have been one of the most rewarding outcomes of this process, thus far.

With the new school year underway, many units will begin or continue sharing their drafted strategic plans with groups of internal stakeholders. However, the final plans will not be published, launched or publicly released until this fall.  We are encouraging units to continue to stress to their local communities that all plans are designed to be living documents – always open to revision and more input – with the opportunity for adjustments in the future as new areas of focus emerge.

Finally, an all-campus event will be held this fall to celebrate the launch of the plans. Additional events and activities will take place across campus throughout the fall as well. During this period, schools, colleges, and campus units also will celebrate the development of their DEI plans and begin the work of implementation. Details about these events are being developed, and will be shared very soon. Stay tuned!

Campuswide Climate Assessment Summary

As a complement to the strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion planning process, our work to develop a campuswide climate assessment is well underway. This work is being guided by both a faculty advisory group and a staff advisory group to inform the “science”, design elements, and content of the surveys. Draft survey instruments have been developed for faculty, staff, and students, and are currently under review. We are partnering with the Survey Research Center within the Institute for Social Research, as well as a local survey research firm, SoundRocket, to advance this work.

Starting in Fall 2016, we will be engaging the multi-phased process to collect these institutional data. The first phase of the climate assessment (a probability sample of faculty, staff, and students within the U-M community) will deploy in October 2016 to gauge perceptions of campus climate at the University level. A census of the staff community will take place in Spring 2017, and census efforts for faculty and staff will follow in Fall 2017. The goal of the census efforts is to provide data to the various units on campus to inform their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

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