Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
When the University of Michigan launched its five-year strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) on October 6, 2016, we strived to accomplish both immediate and long-term changes that would leave a lasting impact on our institution.
It is truly remarkable how quickly the time has passed since then. As we complete our second year, and begin our third year of implementing this plan, we have made
significant strides toward accomplishing our goals. We have also learned much about ourselves as a community, and how we are able to succeed in both the planned and unanticipated moments of this process.
Institutionally, we have positioned ourselves to sustain long-lasting, impactful change.
The second year of the strategic plan initiative has provided us with the opportunity to track the progress of 2,177 individual actions items across the university. To date, 92-percent of these efforts have been implemented or are in progress. Among the action items were many faculty, staff and student programs that embody our commitment to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive university.
The Go Blue Guarantee, a new initiative that began during 2018 winter semester, has immediately impacted students across our campus. This promise provides Michigan residents who are accepted into the university and have a family income of less than $65,000 and assets below $50,000, with the opportunity to receive free in-state tuition for four years of undergraduate study on the Ann Arbor campus. The majority of students are also eligible for additional financial aid covering costs such as residence hall housing, meals and books.
Wolverine Pathways, entering its third academic year, continues its effort in making a college education accessible for all students who are highly motivated in achieving academic excellence. This supplemental educational program for students in the Detroit, Southfield and Ypsilanti school districts is offered at no cost. Those students who successfully complete the program, apply to U-M and are admitted, receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship. The impact of this program has been substantial for many students, including the first graduating class in Spring 2018, in which 51 students were accepted to the UM-Ann Arbor, and 33 to the U-M Dearborn campus.
Staff training is also ongoing across the university. Human Resources Learning and Professional Development has developed DEI training courses (e.g., Unconscious Bias, Change It Up, Disability Awareness) for departments and individuals that provide staff with the awareness and skills necessary to interact effectively and respectfully across our differences. These are being continuously refined to meet the changing needs of a community that is increasing in its DEI skill level.
As we approach the midpoint of our initial five-year strategic planning effort, I am incredibly proud of the advancements we’ve made, and truly believe the foundational infrastructure for a long-term institutional transformation is underway. At the same time, we must acknowledge that there is still much work to be done. As we reflect on the challenges we’ve faced, and how we’ve overcome them, it is crucial that we remember these lessons, and apply them to what lies ahead. This hard-earned wisdom will be key to us achieving our collective goal of making the University of Michigan a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community.
Chief Diversity Officer
Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion