This initiative is the result of a recommendation from the 2014 Provost’s Report on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The initiative’s aim is to build faculty skill in and commitment to cultivating learning environments where students of all backgrounds and identities are welcomed, feel valued, and are equitably supported in their academic success. In December 2014, a task force composed of experts from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), The Program on Intergroup Relations (IGR), and the School of Education (SOE) was asked to develop a model for faculty professional development around inclusive teaching for all faculty at the University of Michigan. The task force proposed a flexible model around inclusive teaching, and faculty focus groups were conducted to gather views from a broad range of faculty, representing diverse roles, identities, and disciplines across the University.
In October 2015, each dean appointed a faculty member to be a liaison to the task force. The role of the liaisons is to represent the views of their respective unit, share information about the inclusive teaching initiative with their unit leadership and faculty, and assist with the development and implementation of a faculty professional development program around inclusive teaching in their unit that will meet the needs of their faculty. The liaisons have been meeting as a group during the 2016 winter term and many have been working with their diversity strategic planning leads to include inclusive teaching activities in their unit’s diversity strategic plan.
In May 2016, CRLT, IGR and the LSA Inclusive Pedagogies Committee sponsored “Inclusive Teaching @ Michigan,” a series of workshops for faculty focused on concrete strategies for inclusive teaching, through classroom practices, course design, and both formal and informal interactions with students. This was the first time this series of workshops was held, and it was due in part from increased interest and requests from faculty across campus for more training around inclusive teaching practices.