University of Michigan
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan
Year Three Progress Update

Working Together to Create a More Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Campus Community

Advancing Our Commitment for a More Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive University

In 2016, the University of Michigan took a bold and determined step toward creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus by launching its Five-Year DEI Strategic Plan. This sweeping blueprint for change, which engaged every U-M unit as well as Michigan Medicine, was intended to make the university a place of learning where every individual, without exception, would feel welcomed and valued. In Year Three—the midpoint of the Strategic Plan—we implemented the policies, procedures, priorities and processes necessary to sustain momentum, assess the DEI work underway in every campus unit and ensure that the university community continues on its current path of creating long-term, sustainable, meaningful change.

A Five-Year Journey to Accelerate DEI Progress

  1. President Schlissel


    U-M has a long history of leadership and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In early Fall 2015, recently appointed U-M President Mark Schlissel announced that one of the key priorities of his tenure would be advancing diversity, equity and inclusion across the entire institution. Emphasizing that a university cannot be excellent without being diverse in the broadest sense of that word, he challenged the U-M community to unite in creating a campus that offers all individuals an equal opportunity to contribute and succeed. In order to achieve that goal, and become that place of equal opportunity, the university would develop a five-year strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion.

  2. Diversity event


    Within 12 months of the president’s initial challenge, each of the campus units rolled out a set of detailed action steps corresponding with the three overarching strategies laid out in the university-wide plan. Together, the nearly 2,000 action items outlined in the unit plans—along with the initial 34 campuswide central action items—formed the basis of the university’s Five-Year Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
    In October 2016, all units began implementing their action plans. Since then, campuswide and individual plans have been continuously monitored, assessed and adjusted to assure optimal outcomes.

  3. MESA group


    Among its most significant Year One achievements,the university established a central office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) to serve as an organizational hub and support center for the units. DEI operational support was also incorporated into the university’s annual budget process. To help identify areas of success and concern, the U-M conducted its first climate survey, and the Division of Student Life piloted an annual Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) to provide students with an assessment of their intercultural acumen along with training and support programs.

  4. Student group


    In year two, we continued to embed DEI in the structures and processes of the university. By way of example: Michigan Medicine partnered with U-M Human Resources to develop faculty and staff recruitment toolkits aimed at creating more diverse candidate pools; similar best practices were implemented within units across the university; deans and other senior officers embarked on a yearlong DEI leadership development experience; 13 schools and colleges made DEI part of their annual faculty review process; and an overwhelming number of units have also incorporated DEI factors in annual staff assessments.

  5. Intergroup Relations photo


    In Year Three, a large part of our focus was on implementation: doing the daily work of creating long-term change throughout the university—in schools and colleges, in service hubs and centers of excellence, in administrative units and outreach programs. Year Three was also a time when leadership began putting systems in place for early evaluation of DEI-related programs at both the central campus and unit levels, in anticipation of the final summary of activity in Year Five. This evaluation effort included a new requirement in annual DEI status reports, one that provided an opportunity for each unit to reflect on signs and examples of culture change related to its strategic efforts for diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, units are prompted to determine what is—and is not—working and to consider course corrections as needed.

  6. Michigan Stadium


    The university’s Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a living document, capable of responding to the evolving needs of our community. It is this inherent capacity to adapt and adjust, to rethink and refocus, that will help us maintain momentum and drive our progress in Year Four and beyond.

  7. Michigan Stadium

Overarching Strategies

Strategic Objective #1

Create an Inclusive and Equitable Campus Climate

Strategic Objective #2

Recruit, Retain and Develop a Diverse Community

Strategic Objective #3

Support Innovative and Inclusive Scholarship and Teaching

Progress Highlights

Year Three in our DEI Plan implementation was a time of intense action, engagement and assessment, with energy and effort from change agents at all levels of the university. We continued to embed DEI in the structures and processes of the university. As we start Year Four, we are starting to see the impact of these efforts on students, staff and faculty. Below are just a handful of the multitude of initiatives underway to move us forward on our DEI goals and objectives.

Wolvreine pathways graduation Teachers having a discussion First Gen Graduation New Trotter multicultural center OAMI Grant celebration Group of students First generation support Group learning lesson many voices, our michigan pin Teachers having a discussione

Wolverine Pathways

Inclusive Teaching Initiative – Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT)

Go Blue Guarantee

Trotter Multicultural Center


LSA Collegiate Fellows Program

First-Generation Support

Faculty Leadership Development Fellowships

Sexual Misconduct Awareness

Department of Organizational Learning (DOL)

Wolverine Pathways is an innovative pipeline program focused on college readiness for middle and high school students in the Ypsilanti, Southfield and Detroit school districts. Scholars who complete the program, apply to the U-M and are admitted receive a full scholarship and are often eligible for additional financial aid.

In 2018-2019, this innovative pipeline program enrolled 654 middle and high school students. The program also graduated its second class of 89 scholars, all of whom were admitted to selective colleges nationwide. In total, 46 scholars were admitted to the Ann Arbor campus and 32 to the UM-Dearborn campus.

In Year Three, the center made DEI an ongoing focus of its Teaching Academy programs for faculty in 10 schools and colleges, and offered 35 customized workshops and retreats. CRLT also presented 17 all-campus, DEI-focused pedagogy workshops; hosted the fourth annual Inclusive Teaching @ Michigan series for faculty and graduate student assistants (GSIs) from the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses; conducted a yearlong professional development program for lecturers; and presented plenary sessions for 1,413 GSIs and undergraduate instructional aides.

Launched in 2018, this program makes college affordable for Michigan families with annual incomes of $65,000 or less and assets below $50,000 by providing financial aid packages totaling, at a minimum, the cost of tuition and mandatory university fees. During Winter 2018, 1,687 current students were identified as being eligible for the Go Blue Guarantee and, collectively, received over $11 million in institutional support for that term. In Fall 2018, the first full term of the guarantee, 95 percent of eligible in-state undergraduates received institutional aid, and 85 percent paid no tuition.

In April of 2019, more than 1,500 members of the U-M community celebrated the grand opening of the new Trotter Multicultural Center. TMC also onboarded a new director and associate director. In partnership with other campus units, the Center evaluated student leadership programming and, based on student feedback, will be launching an array of pilot programs for the 2019-2020 academic year.

SuccessConnects is a holistic support program designed to enhance students' academic, social, cultural and personal development. While open to all students, the program offers coaching, peer mentoring, workshops and resources to support the success of first generation students, underrepresented minorities and scholarship recipients in particular.

A five-year initiative launched in 2016, this major program aims to recruit and retain 50 exceptional early-career scholars in all liberal arts fields who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to building an inclusive and diverse intellectual community. In Year Three, the program welcomed eight new scholars, and in Fall 2019, members of the first and second cohort began to move into tenure-track positions. During the past three years, the program has recruited 24 fellows across all three LSA divisions.

The First Generation Gateway office collaborated with units across campus to grow its co-curricular programming, expand its reach and enhance student awareness of resources. New events launched in Year Three include a resource fair, First Generation Week and a symposium for faculty and staff, highlighting best practices for supporting first-generation students. The Gateway is now a designated member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), with U-M recognized as a leading university in the support of first-generation students.

In 2018-2019, the program conducted a project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and focused on leadership development models aimed at preparing future leaders from underrepresented backgrounds for roles in U.S. colleges and universities. The 2019 program cycle included eight U-M fellows who participated in the New Leadership Academy program. This brings to 24 the total number of program participants, including faculty and senior staff from a broad range of academic and administrative units.

The university introduced a mandatory online training module, Cultivating a Culture of Respect: Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Awareness. Incoming students continue to participate in required training on sexual misconduct awareness and prevention and, as of September 12, the online training was completed by 25,945 faculty and staff across the U-M’s three campuses. The goal is 100 percent participation for both faculty and staff. A new website on sexual misconduct reporting and resources features information on sources of support, reporting procedures and a link to the module. In addition, all units are now including sexual misconduct awareness efforts in their revised DEI strategic plans for 2019-2020.

The Office of Organizational Learning continued using its new DEI Lifelong Learning Model to design educational resources for stakeholder groups and diversity committees across campus and in Michigan Medicine. This included adding instructor-led courses and videos, and delivering a leadership course on recruitment and hiring practices. Since 2016, DOL and Michigan Medicine have, together, offered 899 classroom courses and served 23,652 participants.

“Without Wolverine Pathways I would have a very hard time applying to any colleges and completing the FAFSA. Wolverine Pathways has helped me tremendously....I am forever grateful!” — Student Participant

“The CRLT inclusive teaching workshop made me more aware of identity issues and better prepared to react to them in the classroom."— Faculty Participant

“The ability to help kids come here from a lower socioeconomic level is fantastic! I mean, diversity of ideas is the most important thing.”— Student Participant

"Everyone was welcoming, and it's good to know I'm not alone....This program has eased some of my anxiety about school."— Student Participant











The U-M DEI Plan in Action

DEI Strategic plan wheel graphic

In Year Three, work continued on 37 central campus initiatives, and campus units addressed 2,518 action items across the 50 unit-based strategic plans.

50 U-M units with DEI Strategic Plans

Progress by the Numbers

DEI SKill Building infographic Accessibility infographic Wolverine Pathways infographic Affordability infographic Success Connects infographic New Policies and Processes infographic LSA Collegiate Fellows Program infographic New & Expanded DEI Community Support infographic Demographics infographic

DEI in Pictures

OAMI Latinx Graduation
Rackham Connections
MEZ Robotics
UMSI Lunar New Year
Shipiro Library Checkout
Spectrum Grads
SMTD Music Program
DPSS Self Defense Course

Positive Change, Persistent Challenge

Robert M. Sellers, Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

The University of Michigan is not the same institution it was when the DEI Strategic Plan was launched three years ago. In that time, we have made notable progress in implementing and living out the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. We have significantly increased awareness, introduced essential policies, procedures and processes, deployed cultural reinforcers and broadened access to programs and resources for faculty, students and staff. While it is true that we still have a long way to go, it is equally true that we have come a long way in our journey.

Learn more & stay connected

“Our university cannot be excellent without being diverse in the broadest sense of that word, and we must ensure that our community provides all individuals with an equal opportunity to contribute and succeed.”

— President Schlissel