Defining Values, Improving Culture

As we continue to work toward improving our campus climate, we are raising awareness about how experiences, values and perspectives are influenced by identity and how we can work together to acquire the tools and confidence to build more inclusive and diverse communities.

University Action Items

The campus climate University action items are designed to support and strengthen the development of programs, policies and activities that encourage a culture of belonging in which every member of our community can grow and thrive.

Featured Campus Climate Action Items

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Student Support and Resources to Improve the Campus Climate

In Year Five, Student Life efforts to enhance campus climate were shaped by the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 and a heightened awareness of continued violence toward people of color, specifically police brutality targeting Black people.
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Increased Web and Online Accessibility Testing

In the past fiscal year, the Digital Information Accessibility Coordinator and the accessibility team developed a central website to house accessibility-related resources, guides and training materials (accessibility.umich.edu).
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Inclusive Facilities and Resources

To date, the university has advanced an array of recommendations generated by the U-M Student IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility).
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Campus Spotlights

Our campus spotlights share stories of progress in campus climate efforts from among the 50 unit DEI Strategic Plans.

Featured Campus Climate Spotlights

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A map of the United States over historic photos of Native Americans

Clements Library

Online Exhibit of Native American Photography Opens Up New Narratives

A major goal of Year Five was to present ongoing exhibits and displays that made traditionally underrepresented groups and DEI themes visible to visitors and researchers. Initial plans called for a physical exhibit based on the Pohrt Collection of Native American Photography that would travel to libraries, historical societies and museums statewide. With the onset of COVID-19, the focus shifted to an online exhibit created by two U-M student interns. Titled “No, Not Even for a Picture: Re-examining the Native Midwest and Tribes’ Relations to the History of Photography,” the virtual experience presented the riches of the Pohrt Collection in an accessible yet rigorous way. At every step of the process, from writing a land acknowledgment to creating a glossary of terms, DEI commitments were at the forefront. This online exhibit has made the stories contained in these photographs available to Native communities across Michigan, and to scholars and students around the world, far exceeding what an in-person exhibit could have achieved.

Several people on a Zoom call

Office of University Development

Data Drives DEI in Philanthropy: Alternative Wealth Screening and Data Acquisition

In pre-campaign planning conversations with schools, colleges and units, the question often arises of how to diversify donor pipelines. During the first three years of its DEI plan, OUD encouraged development staff across all three campuses to diversify both donor and volunteer bases. As a first step, OUD leveraged its new policy on constituent affinity and identity information to diversify its donor base and direct donors toward DEI and other funds that speak to their interests, backgrounds and experiences. In Year Five, OUD continued its data acquisition, strategy and usage efforts to explore mitigating bias in wealth screening for prospective donors. With support from an ODEI Diversity, Democracy and Structural Racism Grant, our Prospect Development and Analytics team (PDA) and Data Science & Decision Support team analyzed in-house and vendor data to consider indicators that will help diminish bias in current wealth screenings, for instance accounting for U.S. history of redlining when using real estate data. Because of the project’s focus on both identifying untapped prospect potential and creating industry-leading best practices around wealth screening, it will have a direct impact on how OUD builds its campaign pipelines both in the short and long term.

Hands of different skin tones in a circle

College of Engineering

DEI Culture Shift: Community Teams for DEI Education

The goal of building a truly inclusive process for DEI education began with five proposals that established a framework to administer educational opportunities for all COE faculty, staff, postdocs and students. Through community teams, subcommittee teams, townhalls, surveys, small-group meetings of the dean with students, faculty and staff, and focus groups, we brought together the diverse perspectives of administrative leadership, faculty, staff and graduate and undergraduate students, thus assuring that all constituents had an opportunity to shape the training, educational goals and modes of delivery. These and other efforts by the DEI Culture Shift Community Team led to the development of a Change it Up! Bystander Intervention workshop focused on stopping anti-Black racism. To date, more than 700 faculty, staff and students have participated. A DEI education and training model has been established incentivizing faculty and staff for their commitment to DEI, creates a formal mechanism to track progress toward creating and maintaining an environment where all people are valued and stresses the importance of DEI within the field of engineering.