Carly Sorscher, MC/VP Development

The 2021–22 academic year marked the conclusion of the university’s initial Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Five-Year Strategic Plan, known as DEI 1.0. It also marks the beginning of a yearlong evaluation process in which central and unit-level content and actions from DEI 1.0 will be thoroughly assessed.

Findings from the evaluation period—to be shared in early fall 2022 in conjunction with the annual DEI Summit—will help guide a yearlong planning phase for the university’s next DEI strategic plan, DEI 2.0. This second five-year initiative will launch in October of 2023.

During the two-year transition period between strategic plans, the university will continue its DEI-related efforts, providing regular progress updates to the entire campus community. This will include the work of DEI implementation leads across campus in all schools, colleges and additional units across the university.

DEI 2.0 will launch in early fall 2023.


Why is DEI important to the university?

As a public institution whose stated mission is “to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future,” diversity, equity and inclusion is viewed as essential to this mission and inseparable from our definition and demonstration of excellence.

What is DEI 1.0 and what is DEI 2.0?

DEI 1.0 refers to the campuswide DEI strategic plan that spanned the five-year period of 20162021. DEI 2.0 refers to the next campuswide DEI strategic plan—viewed as the next major DEI campaign—set to launch in fall 2023 and extend to 2025.

What is the first five-year DEI Strategic Plan (DEI 1.0). How can I learn about it?
How is DEI organized at U-M?

Announced in 2015 as a presidential initiative, DEI is a campuswide effort engaging all levels of the university. Viewed as a national model, U-M’s DEI efforts mirror its decentralized structure, with a simultaneous campus-level DEI plan and DEI plans developed in each school and college and many campus units including Michigan Medicine, UM Libraries, Student Life, Business & Finance and many more.

Who leads U-M’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts?

The Chief Diversity Officer position reporting to the President, created in 2016, provides focused leadership for DEI efforts across the campus. A Deputy Chief Diversity Officer leads the implementation of the campus DEI plan while supporting and coordinating across the 50 units with DEI Plans. Each school, college and campus unit with a DEI Plan (50 total) has one or two DEI Leads who direct DEI efforts in their community and serve as liaisons with the central office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Is DEI work continuing now that the first five-year strategic plan has ended?

Yes—and before the next strategic plan is launched in 2023, the infrastructure is already in place from the recent five-year DEI strategic plan—the university’s DEI efforts will continue working on strategic goals. It is similar to the process of a university capital campaign which occurs periodically, while university development efforts continue on an ongoing basis. With recurring DEI strategic plans, the university community has the opportunity to rally around collective, coordinated, strategic efforts to achieve specific goals at both the university and unit levels during specific time periods. To maintain our momentum, it is critical that resources and efforts bridge one major DEI strategic plan period to the next.

What will the continued DEI work look like during the transition to DEI 2.0?

Just as the university continues to engage in development activities between campaigns, it will continue its DEI commitments between strategic plans—including the work of the DEI implementation leads. Relying on their existing DEI plans which contain many goals that require efforts spanning multiple years, schools, colleges and campus units will continue to support the work outlined in their plans as they evaluate the first five-year strategic plan (in 202122) and then develop their DEI 2.0 strategic plans (in 202223). This will assist in a smooth launch into DEI 2.0 in 2023.

At the campus level, effort on the 35+ university action items will continue, monthly meetings, professional development and consultation for DEI Leads will continue, and annual DEI events such as the DEI Summit, MLK Symposium, DEI awards and other key activities will continue. See the U-M DEI 1.0 Progress Report to review the work that has been going on—and is continuing during the transition from DEI 1.0 to DEI 2.0.

How does the strategic plan support anti-racist initiatives at U-M?

Anti-racism and DEI are not separate efforts, but rather, anti-racism efforts represent our deepening commitment to dismantle systemic racism in society and to fully realize our DEI goals. Throughout 2020–21, U-M advanced a set of anti-racism initiatives that built on the extensive DEI work already underway. These initiatives aim to refocus our collective attention and energy toward building an anti-racist campus culture. The university’s expanded anti-racism efforts include:

  • Creating a task force on policing and public safety for the Ann Arbor campus
  • Hiring at least 20 new full-time faculty members in the next three years with scholarly expertise in racial inequality and structural racism
  • Expanding resources and infrastructure to support new and current U-M scholars working in the area of anti-racism
  • Reevaluating race and ethnicity curriculum requirements across the university’s 19 schools and colleges
  • Strengthening faculty and staff professional development opportunities related to anti-racism
  • Incorporating ways to address structural racism in the university’s Democracy & Debate Theme Semester
  • Creating a task force to guide efforts to diversify the names considered for campus spaces, facilities and streets
  • Establishing the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund to encourage donor investment in student leaders and to honor the legacy of past leaders in DEI
How will the university continue to support DEI efforts?

Moving forward, the university’s DEI efforts are a perpetual work in progress, and we are committed to this ongoing journey and one where we never reach our destination. Just as we continue to support the functions of student life, budget & finance, and research, we will continue to support the work needed to create and sustain a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus across all functions and for everyone in our community. This support will continue to include leadership roles and budget allocations to fund initiatives, programs and events that align with achieving DEI goals.

For additional questions, comments or feedback related to DEI 2.0, please contact [email protected].