Unit Plan for the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, V.1

 September 29, 2016

  1. ODEI Organizational Context

The time frame in which phase I and II of the university-wide diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) planning process occurred was a time of tremendous change and transition for the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Since the summer of 2015, three units within the ODEI — the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI), the Center for Educational Outreach (CEO), and the Detroit Center have been engaged in a reorganization process that involves an examination of their missions and goals. Other changes in the division included the addition of the Wolverine Pathways program, the Business Office and the Office of Evaluation and Assessment.

In the winter of 2016, OAMI, CEO and Detroit Center developed new strategic objectives that will result in changes of existing programmatic initiatives and a phase in of new work beginning in fall 2016. In addition, a new director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) will be announced and the unit will experience a major subsequent transition beginning in July 2016.

Given the ongoing discussions about reorganization and the new, emerging work of several ODEI units, it did not seem productive to engage in a full-blown DEI planning process that examines all four planning domains. It was therefore agreed that over the period of phase 1 and phase II, the planning would focus on two of the four planning domains – “Promoting an Equitable and Inclusive Community,” and “Recruitment, Retention and Development (RRD),” particularly as it relates to staff within the division. The other domains will be engaged in the coming years as the re-organization unfolds and the units within the division stabilize.

  1. Planning Process Used/Data and Analysis/Key Findings

Planning Team 

  • Dana Davidson, Coordinator, Wolverine Pathways
  • Lumas Helaire, Associate Director, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives
  • Cathy Jenkins-Newton, Administrator, ODEI Business Office
  • Feodies Shipp, Associate Director, Detroit Center
  • Adam J. Skoczylas, Program Manager, Center for Educational Outreach 

Planning Process Summary

The planning process began in December 2015 with an announcement to the division of the planning lead and that a planning team would be appointed. The planning team was selected to reflect a diversity of experiences and representation from each of the units within the division. The initial team was purposefully kept small. The expansion of the team is planned in the next phases of the process.

The planning team began meeting in January 2016 and examined existing data including  staff demographic data provided by HR, existing committee/institutional reports, unit review related documents, and documents internal to our units that might provide information about the experiences of staff within the division.

Based on the information that was examined, the team found that additional data was needed and, as such, identified ways to collect data that would provide a more robust analysis of the current climate and related needs of the staff in the division. Strategies for collecting the additional, necessary information are outlined in Section IV.

The planning team consulted with members of the ODEI senior staff, as well as Vice provost Robert Sellers during the process. Unit directors were also provided an opportunity to provide feedback on an initial plan draft. Going forward, the planning team recognizes the need to obtain feedback from additional unit staff and students. As the planning process moves forward we will include temporary staff and students in the implementation process which continues to offer opportunities for review and feedback of the plan. 

III. Strategic Objectives, Measures of Success and Action Plans

The team adopted two primary objectives. The objectives are focused on the climate for staff success and premised on one central observation and one key assumption – it was observed that there were already many promising and well-intentioned practices in place that were mindful of creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive working environment for staff but they were not documented or consistent across the division. If the division was to have policies and practices that were of the highest of standards and indeed exemplars, it would be by making the existing policies and practices more meaningful, better connected, and associated with action at the university and beyond. Ultimately, the ODEI should be situated as a division willing to step up and to vigorously lead by example on behalf of the principles of diversity, inclusion and equity. The objectives were aimed at high standards and will require staff support to ensure they are met in practical ways.

All strategic objectives and related actions will be pursued in accordance with the law and University policy.

The ODEI aspires to be a division of change agents who cultivate the ability to see, communicate about, and address inequalities through daily work.

Objective 1:  Improve the diversity of staff at all levels of the division

Strategy 1.1:  Increase standards to improve the recruitment, hiring and selection process to enhance the potential for increasing the diversity of staff.

Strategy 1 Tasks

1.1.1 –  Review and revise hiring guides and training to support and demonstrate adherence to the university’s policies on equity, non-discrimination, compliance, EEO etc.

1.1.2 – Develop a framework/toolkit reflecting best practices that support equitable and inclusive staff recruitment and hiring/selection of staff.

1.1.3 –  Ensure that new policies and guidelines are communicated and implemented to support equitable and inclusive staff recruitment and hiring/selection.

1.1.4 – Include staff, via committees, in the development of a framework, standards, guides and training for policies and practices related to recruitment, hiring, and selection.

1.1.5 – Develop metrics for success.

1.1.6 – Submit plan to staff for review and solicit feedback.

Strategy 1.2:  Evaluate and improve practices that support the success, retention and promotion of a diverse staff.

Strategy 2 Tasks

1.2.1 – Survey staff to understand barriers to success.

1.2.2 – Develop activities to support professional development and career advancement.

1.2.3 – Provide funding for staff to support attendance at local and national professional development activities.

1.2.4 – Assist staff in the recognition of competencies necessary to advance to higher staff and administrative positions internally and be supportive of their efforts to prepare themselves for advancement.

1.2.5 – Develop metrics for success.

1.2.6 – Submit plan to staff for review and solicit feedback.

Objective 2:  Foster a positive climate for diversity that encourages staff members to grow and embrace diversity as a core value and as a vital component of the division and the institution. 

Strategy 2.1:  Increase staff capacity to create and support an inclusive and equitable campus community.

Strategy 1 Tasks

2.1.1 – As a division, explore the expanding definitions of diversity and how this impacts the future work of the division.

2.1.2 – Provide unit wide gatherings once a semester for leadership to share vision related to DEI (reinforce positive group interactions to foster a healthy unit climate).

2.1.3 – On an annual basis, provide a series of division specific professional development/trainings for staff that will provide tools to be influential leaders and advocates for DEI across campus.

2.1.4 – Establish a process to coordinate and share information with staff regarding diversity-related speakers, conferences and other related events.

2.1.5 – Expand opportunities and provide incentives for staff to participate in professional development activities locally and nationally that expand awareness of DEI issues.

2.1.6 – Develop metrics for success.

2.1.7 – Submit plan to staff for review and solicit feedback.

Strategy 2.2:  Identify, assess and improve the experiences of staff within the division.

Strategy 2 Tasks

2.2.1 – Create a climate assessment survey that will be administered and repeated periodically, as dictated by the results that will illuminate the experiences of staff related to interaction with the U-M and unit climates.

2.2.2 – Recognize and reward individuals, office and programs that enhance and contribute to DEI goals (establish staff recognition program).

2.2.3 – Develop and communicate pathways to conflict resolution for responding to issues where staff may feel/perceive/experience a climate that is not inclusive. Coordinate with existing University policies and get review from others in OGC of any unit-specific approaches to ensure that there are no speech or employment issues created.

2.2.4 – Develop metrics for success.

2.2.5 – Submit plan to staff for review and solicit feedback.

A note about metrics and timetable:  As the divisional re-organization process unfolds, targets and thresholds of success will be specified, where possible.

  1. Action Planning Tables with Details and Accountabilities

Promoting an Equitable and Inclusive Community – ODEI Staff

Strategies and Related Tasks Measures

Of

Success

Group/

persons accountable

Resources needed (if applicable)
Review and revise hiring guides and training to support and demonstrate adherence to the university’s policies on equity, non-discrimination, compliance, EEO, etc. Guidelines reviewed and revised Committee of 2 implementation team members and 1 staff member from each unit
Develop a framework/toolkit reflecting best practices that support equitable and inclusive recruitment, hiring/selection of staff. Framework developed Committee of 2 implementation team members and 1 staff member from each unit
Ensure that new policies and guidelines are communicated to support equitable and inclusive recruitment, hiring/selection for staff. Guidelines are communicated to staff Unit Directors and Vice Provost
Survey staff to understand barriers to success. A survey is administered and data analyzed ODEI Director of Evaluation/Assessment
Develop activities to support professional development and career advancement. An annual series of events are developed. A large number of staff attend activities Unit Associate Directors in consultation with unit staff Designated staff person to lead efforts.
Provide funding for staff to support attendance at local and national professional development activities. Funding is available for professional development Vice Provost and unit Directors Funding
Assist staff in the recognition of competencies necessary to advance to higher staff and administrative positions internally and be supportive of their efforts to prepare themselves for advancement. Staff feel supported in their professional development efforts as measured in annual staff climate survey. Unit Directors and Associate Directors
As a division, explore the expanding definitions of diversity and how that impacts the future work of the division through regular division-wide workshops and activities. Staff are able to articulate diversity related goals Vice Provost, unit Directors Designated staff person to plan initiatives
Provide unit wide gatherings once a semester for leadership to share vision related to DEI (reinforce positive group interactions to foster a healthy unit climate). Plan unit wide meeting for fall and winter terms. Vice Provost Designated staff person to plan gatherings
On an annual basis, provide a series of professional development/trainings for staff that will provide tools to be influential leaders and advocates for DEI across campus. Series of professional development opportunities are developed. High level of staff participation in activities Vice Provost and unit Directors and Associate Directors Designated staff to plan activities and funding
Establish a process to coordinate and share information with staff regarding diversity-related speakers, conferences and other related events. Establish a process by which such opportunities are communicated and encouraged ODEI communications and Marking Director
Expand opportunities and provide incentives for staff to participate in professional development activities that expand awareness of DEI issues. Opportunities provided and incentives available. High level of staff participation in activities Unit Directors and Associate Directors Funding
Create a climate assessment survey that will be administered and repeated periodically, as dictated by the results that will illuminate the experiences of staff related to interaction with the U-M and unit climates. Survey administered and data analyzed ODEI Office ofEvaluation/Assessment
Recognize and reward individuals, office and programs that enhance and contribute to DEI goals (establish staff recognition program). Staff recognition program developed ODEI Administrator
Develop and communicate process for responding to issues where staff may feel/perceive/experience a climate that is not inclusive. Process is developed and communicated ODEI Administrator and unit Directors
  1. Plans for Supporting, Tracking and Updating the Strategic Plan

Lumas Helaire, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives Associate Director will be the lead the implementation of the diversity, equity, and inclusion plan for the office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Lumas will be supported by a committee made up of other senior leaders within ODEI, including Wolverine Pathways Project Coordinator, Dana Davidson; ODEI Business Office Administrator, Cathy Jenkins-Newton; Detroit Center Associate Director, Feodies Shipp; and Center for Education Outreach Program Manager, Adam J. Skoczylas.

The committee will review the plan with various constituencies within the different units and offices that make up ODEI to gather feedback and new ideas in Fall ’16. The committee will meet throughout the fall semester and a mid-year report will be submitted in January. A final review will be presented in April.