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Wolverine Pathways

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

Launched in February 2016, Wolverine Pathways (WP) is an innovative pipeline program focused on creating a path to college readiness for middle and high school students residing in underserved districts. Scholars who successfully complete the program, apply to the UM-Ann Arbor or UM-Dearborn campus, and are admitted receive a four-year tuition scholarship plus additional need-based aid. Students achieving admission to the Flint campus may qualify for UM-Flint’s general scholarship programs, if eligible. Currently serving scholars who reside in the Southfield Public, Detroit Public, and Ypsilanti Community school districts, WP is exploring the prospect of designing and leveraging remote programming to considerably expand its reach and impact beyond southeastern Michigan. 

Progress Update

Now in its fifth year of programming, Wolverine Pathways (WP) continues to link the power of U-M’s academic and research enterprise, the resources and commitment of alumni, community and corporate partners, and the instructional expertise of secondary teachers to support scholars’ academic success, college admission and career exploration. The remote operations and programs required because of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated WP’s ability to launch programming successfully online. Currently serving scholars who reside in the Southfield Public, Detroit Public, and Ypsilanti Community school districts, WP is now exploring the prospect of remote programming as a means to expand its reach and impact beyond southeastern Michigan.

Recent successes have prompted WP to incorporate virtual elements into its permanent design, with the dual goals of maximizing access and leveraging nationwide resources and opportunities (e.g., virtual internships; online networking with alumni who reside outside of Michigan; recruiting for synchronous online instruction the very best teachers, regardless of their location). 

Since 2018, WP scholars have been accepted to and have enrolled at U-M at competitive rates. In all, 58 percent (152 of 263) of the 2018, 2019 and 2020 graduating classes combined have been admitted to the Ann Arbor campus, with 89 percent (135 of 152) choosing to attend. During this same period, 113 and 3 students were admitted to the Dearborn and Flint campuses respectively.  The class of 2021 was WP’s fourth and largest graduating class  thus far (152 students) with 47% percent of those students having  been accepted to the Ann Arbor campus and 86% of these admitted students choosing to attend. This graduating class also boasts acceptances to the most competitive public (e.g., UCLA; Berkeley) and private (e.g., Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, NYU, Dartmouth, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, Brown, Brandeis, William & Mary, Carnegie Mellon) colleges and universities within the nation as well as overseas (i.e., Cambridge University).   

To support the successful transition and retention of WP graduates matriculating to the Ann Arbor campus, scholars are mentored through the SuccessConnects initiative. Administered by the Office of Academic and Multicultural Affairs, this academic and wellness coaching program supplements the formal advising WP graduates receive in their academic units. As a consequence of this support, graduates matriculating to the Ann Arbor campus are retained at competitive rates. First- and second-year retention rates for WP graduates matriculating to U-M as first-year students are 98 percent and 93 percent respectively. 

In the coming year, WP will convert its core programming from in-person only to hybrid and will also pilot a remote version of its programming for students who are state residents but reside in areas beyond southeastern Michigan. The pilot will be fielded in collaboration with two Grand Rapids high schools and will serve an initial group of 15 to 20 students, with the goal of designing, assessing and improving on key design elements and protocols to ensure robust college preparatory collaborations in a remote programming environment (with select in-person opportunities).

Responsibility: Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Engaged Learning and Co-Curricular Support Initiatives

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

The university will increase the capacity of U-M Student Life’s First Year Experience curriculum through the course “Making the Most of Michigan” and other programs aimed at equalizing access to resources, removing perceived organizational obstacles to seeking help and decreasing barriers to academic and social pursuits for all students. These efforts will also enlarge wellness and educational programs that foster identity and cultural enrichment and will expand partnerships with student affairs professionals in schools and colleges.

Progress update 

During Year Five, Student Life (SL) invested in its successful Thriving in the First Year framework to connect and engage first-year and transfer students as they navigated a traditionally residential campus from predominantly virtual spaces worldwide. In Fall 2020, Student Life Assessment and Research led two data collection efforts to support planning and decision-making for the Winter 2021 semester. These included a survey of all degree-seeking students and a set of five focus groups consisting of undergraduate housing residents. Findings highlight a variety of student concerns including extreme stress, loneliness and isolation and lack of engagement in course material, with all concerns heightened among underrepresented students. In response, SL prioritized key student engagement initiatives such as early communication, Welcome to Michigan and educational and community-building opportunities that foster identity and cultural enrichment. 

Early welcome programs are essential in bringing critical information and community-building opportunities to students as they begin their educational journey at U-M. In Year Five, the International Center engaged 1,434 students in Pre-Departure Orientation sessions, peer-to-peer meetings, workshops, office hours and a self-enrolled Summer Orientation Canvas course. Both of the Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) Early Welcome Programs were also conducted virtually and attracted a total of 74 participants. For the first time, MESA collaborated with the student organizations UAAO and NASA to co-create similar opportunities addressing issues relevant to Asian American and Pacific Islanders students (28 participants), Native American Students (3 participants) and others.

Our First-Year Experience (FYE) quickly shifted critical in-person programs such as Relationship Remix and Change it Up! into a student-developed webinar focused on healthy relationships and bystander intervention. In Fall 2020, 6,014 incoming first-year and transfer students completed the webinar. FYE also created a new Community Matters Cohort Program to provide an opportunity for students to build community in small groups, practice relationship skills, connect with upper-division student facilitators and meet others with similar interests. SL’s signature Making the Most of Michigan course enrolled 114 students in Fall 2020 and 54 students in Winter 2021. We also initiated an FYE Student Advisory Board made up of 11 first-year and transfer students to provide new opportunities for direct student feedback and engagement on topics ranging from resource access to the impacts of COVID-19.

Welcome to Michigan 2020 was delivered primarily through a Canvas course that organized various programs and resources into eight experiential areas: Spaces & Places, Community Building, Get Involved, Civic Engagement, Campus Resources, Arts Engagement, Spirit & Tradition and Health & Wellness. All new students were automatically enrolled in the Canvas course in the week preceding move-in. Of the 8,327 participants, 6,911 were new students and 1,321 were transfer students. At the conclusion of Welcome, 76.9% (6,334 students) had logged into Canvas to view the Welcome course.

In the lead-up to Election Day 2020, the Voting Challenge team broadened and strengthened its coalition to provide students with up-to-date information and the opportunity to vote on campus via the City Clerk’s satellite office. We worked with our on- and off-campus partners to ensure the rights of our eligible student voters in a year unlike any other and established an infrastructure to carry our successes forward. A tri-campus collaboration—which was a key element of our 2020 efforts—will continue with the joint hosting of educational events and a strategic planning process as Sl works to involve students in our democracy, year round and at all levels. 

Through the Trotter Multicultural Center, the Intercultural Development Inventory reached 272 first-year students from two sections of Nursing N-196 and as part of the M-STEM programs (M-ENGIN and M-SCI). To help connect students with resources, the How to Flourish at Michigan wellness and identity series hosted eight programs for 150 students, and the Interfaith program presented a student panel and launched a video titled “Students’ Experiences Finding Community” that was viewed 89 times. 

Looking ahead, Student Life will expand on the success of its Thriving in the First Year framework by including second-year students. We will also prioritize Student Engagement Task Force projects to assure an engaging residential experience that connects students with resources, services and programs available to them.

Responsibility: Division of Student Life

Faculty Allies Program

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

The university will expand Rackham’s Faculty Allies for Diversity program, in which designated faculty allies work within their respective units to serve as graduate student support contacts on DEI issues. As of December 2017, there were 89 faculty allies representing 81 Rackham departments and programs. The future goal is for every Rackham program to designate a faculty ally and include that ally in its DEI efforts around graduate education.

Progress update

Faculty Allies (FA) serve as key contacts for DEI issues in graduate education within their respective departments—participating in DEI workshops, mentoring graduate students and playing a vital role in raising awareness and marshaling resources to address issues of inclusion and climate in their programs. Rackham offers support in the form of workshops to discuss best practices for and challenges to DEI work; resource and information sharing on DEI issues; inclusion in Rackham Program Review meetings; and the opportunity to apply for a Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grant of up to $12,000 per year on behalf of their graduate program.

During the 2020–2021 academic year, the Faculty Allies (FA) Program succeeded in extending its impact despite continued COVID-19 restrictions. In previous years, Faculty Allies workshops have functioned as standalone sessions which featured reports of successful Faculty Ally grant activities, created space to share best practices and ideas, offered feedback on grant applications and provided opportunities to dialogue with campus DEI leaders. This year, by contrast, we approached Rackham Faculty Allies as a Learning Community and organized four Faculty Allies Workshops as an iterative series. We convened a team of Rackham experts to design sessions that drew on campus resources and built on each other, exploring such topics as racial blind spots and unconscious bias, racialized assumptions about the academy and academic knowledge. The broader goals were: 1) to equip Faculty Allies with a basic critical understanding of how race shapes expertise, knowledge production and institutional structures in the academy; and 2) to provide Faculty Allies with a set of skills to more effectively support DEI values and initiatives within their programs. In addition, we hosted a grant writing workshop and a year-end town hall to gather feedback on the new learning community format.

For the 2021–2022 Faculty Allies and Student Ally for Diversity Grant competition, Rackham received 39 proposals. Of those, 22 included applications for Student Allies (SA). All programs that applied were granted some support. In total, $365,704 was allocated for FA grant activities and an additional $100,000 for SA grants.

Both Rackham and non-Rackham programs received Faculty Allies and Student Ally grants, including Architecture, Cell and Developmental Biology, Chemical Biology, Combined Program in Education and Psychology, Educational Studies, History, Mathematics, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, Ross School of Business, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Social Work and Social Science and Political Science, among many others.

Responsibility: Rackham Graduate School

Faculty Leadership Development Fellowships

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

In order to increase the university’s pool of leadership candidates who are prepared to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, we will create an annual fellowship program to support a select number of faculty with a demonstrated commitment to diversity. These fellows will participate in the New Leadership Academy sponsored by the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, which incorporates DEI issues into every aspect of its model of higher education leadership.

Progress update

In Year Five, the Faculty Leadership Development Fellowship Program transitioned to the University of Utah. The University of Michigan, having led the development of the fellowship, is still a partner in this work. Over the past five years, the New Leadership Academy (NLA) core program has attracted 35 U-M participants, from more than 130 national enrollees.

The 2020 cohort included five participants from the main campus and an additional six from Michigan Medicine. The New Leadership Program is now fully operational. As a result, U-M is well on the way to developing essential leadership at every level and across multiple career generations, with a shared vision of DEI goals in an historical context.

During the 2019–2020 academic year, all of the commitments described in this Central Action Item were fully met. A group of 2019 fellows led a comprehensive review of program outcomes which involved anonymous responses to questions assessing intellectual, attitudinal and career-related changes reported by the first three cohorts of NLA fellows. Their report indicates a continuing high level of program satisfaction. More importantly, there is strong agreement among participants that the program has changed aspects of their basic leadership approach, provided them with historical perspective on issues of race and equity, influenced subsequent decisions involving policies and practices and helped build a foundation of institution-wide relationships on which they can rely for support in tackling difficult DEI challenges.

The NLA program continues to maintain its close relationships with the American Council on Education, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education and other professional groups in higher education. This not only furthers the institution‘s reputation as a leader in DEI planning and programming but also exposes our colleagues to systemic issues and to strategies and practices emerging across the field.

The recent inclusion of participants from Michigan Medicine extends the impact of the NLA program and contributes to an institution-wide perspective on the challenges associated with differing contexts and professional pathways. This benefit became dramatically clear in efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as individuals with medical expertise worked alongside faculty, academic administrators and senior staff in student affairs.

Responsibility: Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Faculty Recruitment & Retention Practice Initiative

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

Through this campuswide initiative to increase best-practice-based faculty recruitment and mentorship, the university will maximize the likelihood that broadly diverse, well-qualified candidates for faculty positions are identified, recruited, retained and promoted. These efforts will expand utilization of the U-M ADVANCE Program’s STRIDE (Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence) training among hiring managers and search committees, and will establish guidelines and support for high-quality faculty mentorship.

Progress Update

In response to the pandemic, the program’s STRIDE Committee pivoted to deliver its faculty recruitment workshop remotely, settling on a format that included a synchronous and interactive Zoom workshop along with an extensive reading list and additional materials provided via Canvas. New material on subfield bias and prestige bias reflected the committee’s continuing emphasis on factors that can act to exclude marginalized candidates. Despite the hiring freeze, attendance was high. In all, 253 faculty and 55 staff who support faculty searches attended a STRIDE workshop.   

Launch Committees

Launch Committees provide individualized support and guidance to new junior faculty as they begin their careers at Michigan.  The ADVANCE Program oversees committees in CoE, SI and LSA. To date, 312 new faculty have been “launched,” with a record number of 67 faculty “launched” in AY21 alone. Committees functioned well in a remote format and provided critical assistance to new faculty navigating the pandemic while in their first year on the job. The program is also operating in SMTD and several of the health sciences schools and colleges, with ADVANCE functioning as a collaborator. While aimed at faculty success and retention, the program also contributes positively to faculty recruitment, climate and the development of mentoring skills. 

RISE (Respect in Striving for Excellence) Committee

The ADVANCE Program’s RISE committee pivoted to deliver its workshop on unit climate, Raising Respect, in a synchronous and interactive Zoom format with additional materials provided via Canvas. The workshop includes three sections: research findings on workplace climates for (dis)respect, the faculty workplace climate at Michigan and the role of leaders in fostering a more respectful work environment. Attendees delved further into their concerns during online “climate coffees.” In Year Five, 227 faculty and senior staff attended a RISE workshop. The committee is now preparing web-based materials for attendees with examples that focus on levers for shifting workplace climate, as introduced in the workshop.

Studies to better understand faculty departure and retention

Our exit interview study (Exit Interview Study of Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty:  Exploring Factors Related to Job Satisfaction and Departure, or see a short summary Why Do Tenure Track Faculty Leave U-M?) describes key factors that influence faculty departure, including unit climate, research support and resources, opportunities for mentoring and leadership and family needs.  Focus groups addressing issues relating to BIPOC faculty additionally point to high levels of service, including so-called “invisible” service, challenges navigating racism on campus and pressure to secure an outside offer. The dual goal of this research is to better address faculty concerns and to improve retention. 

Faculty equity and COVID-19

In Year Five, we reported on equity concerns for faculty that were exacerbated by the pandemic and made recommendations to campus (Faculty Equity & COVID-19:  The problem, the evidence and recommendations). This work was based in part on our survey of U-M faculty (The Effect of COVID-19 on UM Faculty Life:  Results from a Limited Survey, 2020) as well as the broader developing literature and evidence that the pandemic is exerting differential impacts on faculty. Among the recommendations is that metrics be developed to assess the pandemic’s impact on faculty by race, gender and rank. Other recommendations highlight ways to support faculty in their research, teaching, service and caregiver roles.

Responsibility: Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, ADVANCE Program

Faculty Training and Mentorship Resources

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

To provide resources for ongoing faculty development, the University of Michigan purchased a system-wide membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), a community of more than 175,000 faculty members, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars from 230+ colleges and universities. Participating U-M faculty, graduate students, and postdocs at all three campuses (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint) have access to NCFDD’s on-campus workshops, online professional development training, and intensive mentoring programs.

Progress Update

UM-Ann Arbor continued to collaborate with the university’s Dearborn and Flint campuses in sponsoring a system-wide membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). As a result of that effort, all faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars gained access to NCFDD’s full array of resources. Membership numbers grew steadily at all three campuses, with institutional members engaging in 14-day writing challenges, boot camp and the NCFDD alumni network. End-of-program surveys consistently indicate high levels of satisfaction.

As of May 2021, UM-Ann Arbor had 2,967 institutional members registered with the NCFDD—an increase of 389 members from the prior year. Since the introduction of system-wide membership in January 2019, UM-Dearborn has registered 110 members and UM-Flint now has 187 members. Across all three campuses, 1,040 individuals registered for webinars featuring core curriculum, guest experts and multi-week courses. Specific webinar topics ranged from research productivity and healthy work-life balance to rank-specific training and understanding the job market.

In the last five years, 1,437 UM-Ann Arbor members—and in the last two years, 60 Flint and 13 Dearborn members—signed up for at least one 14-day writing challenge program, in which registrants are asked to write for a minimum of 30 minutes every weekday for two weeks. Four writing challenge programs have been offered since January 2020, and UM-Ann Arbor continues to hold the #1 position among all NCFDD participating member institutions in total number of writing minutes (255,317 in 2019 and 2020).

In Summer 2020, WriteNow Access was launched for graduate students and postdocs to help them achieve their writing goals. The 12-week program not only provides access to WriteNow software for tracking productivity but also builds a supportive community, encourages group accountability, and offers mentorship from tenured faculty. In all, the UM-Ann Arbor campus had 21 participants.

Since year one of this initiative, 101 UM-Ann Arbor, 42 Flint and 2 Dearborn faculty have also participated in the Faculty Success Program (FSP), a 12-week boot camp designed to identify common challenges that scholars face in balancing research, teaching and service. FSP participants learn how to develop effective strategies to increase research productivity, cultivate social support and maintain work-life balance. In the past three years, 304 Ann Arbor and 68 Flint faculty have registered for the FSP alumni network. In an end-of-program survey of all U-M system-wide FSP participants, 99 percent of respondents reported being satisfied with the FSP; 89 percent responded that their work-life balance had improved; and 96 percent reported an increase in writing and research productivity.

Responsibility: Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

First-Generation Student Support

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

Building on the success of initial support programs aimed at retaining first-generation undergraduate and graduate students, the university will establish a dedicated position to coordinate and grow both academic and co-curricular support for students across campus who are the first in their families to attend college.

Progress update

Year Five was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, programming continued as usual through virtual formats, and two new projects were launched. A graduate intern and two Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program students were hired to conduct a user-experience (UX) design assessment of the First-Generation Gateway website. The results of their review—which involved student interviews, a survey and a comparative analysis with other websites—will be used to upgrade the site.

During Year Five, the Gateway collaborated with the Office of Enrollment Management to conduct research on resource utilization by first-generation students. Focus groups were conducted in the winter 2020 term, and analysis of the interviews was completed during the summer and fall of 2021. First-Gen staff members presented the results at the annual Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) and American Educational Research Association (AERA) conferences in a paper entitled “A Grounded Theory Model of Advisor Trustworthiness: From a First-Generation Student Perspective.” Internally, findings were presented at the U-M Advising Conference (ACUM. 

Due to pandemic-related restrictions, all 2020-21 programming was conducted online. Working in cooperation with the Office of New Student Programs, First-Generation Gateway hosted the HAIL Scholars reception on Zoom. The reception included a welcome, an introduction to the new HAIL website and an online resource fair. Likewise, the annual student open house, fall and winter community dinners, graduation and First-Gen Week were virtual events. While graduate attendance dropped in 2020, participant numbers rebounded in 2021.

In Year Five, the Internship Action Team, a partnership between the First-Generation Gateway and University Career Center, launched a new initiative to assist a cohort of first-generation students in applying for summer internships. In this workshop, students learned about resume development, interviews, networking and online tools to help with application submissions. 

Also in Year Five, U-M elevated its status from cohort participation to that of a First Forward Advisory Institution. In this new capacity, the university will lead the Great Lakes regional cohort of new First Forward Institutions.  

Responsibility: Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

Go Blue Guarantee

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

Announced in summer 2017 and launched in winter 2018, the Go Blue Guarantee (GBG) makes an education on the UM-Ann Arbor campus more affordable for low- and moderate-income Michigan residents. For families with incomes of $65,000 or less and assets below $50,000, financial aid packages include scholarships and grants totaling, at a minimum, the cost of tuition and mandatory university fees assessed each semester. Financial aid packages can also include a variety of awards such as Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants, State of Michigan Competitive Scholarships and both institutional and non-UM tuition scholarships and grants. The majority of students eligible for the Go Blue Guarantee may also qualify for financial aid covering costs such as residence hall housing, meals and books.

Progress update
In Fall 2020, 1,428 current students were eligible for the Go Blue Guarantee and collectively received $20.5 million in institutional and federal support for that term. Overall, 19% of all in-state undergraduates had family incomes below $65,000. Of these students, 93% received institutional aid and 86% paid no tuition.

In Year Five, marketing for the Go Blue Guarantee program—which is ongoing—continued to promote the significant funding available for Michigan residents who attend classes on the UM-Ann Arbor campus. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent financial hardship endured by many Michigan residents, the campaign focused on low-income targeting. 

Paid advertising to low- and moderate-income audiences appeared more than 20 million times on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the Google Ad Display network. Visitors were directed to a redesigned GBG landing page and registration form. The updates streamlined the qualifications in a visually appealing way, simplified the income chart and highlighted one student’s experience to help users identify with the program.

Campaign form-fills increased by 50% to 5,561 forms submitted between July 1, 2020 and mid-May 2021. In addition, applications for Summer and Fall 2021 among this group were up dramatically over the prior year, to 842. Of that total, 285 were admitted as of mid-May. The EA application count from this group was 480, up from 108 the previous year. Of these, 194 were admitted.

Most GBG collateral materials were not made available in print form this year, since all in-person high school visits and college fairs were suspended due to the pandemic. The exception was the GBG brochure, which was mailed to 9,000 high school juniors across the state. GBG information also continued to appear in email campaigns targeted to prospective in-state students.  

More details and a message from President Mark Schlissel are available at

Responsibility: Office of Enrollment Management

Graduate Student Pipeline Program

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

Many schools and colleges have long-term relationships with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the country. In an effort to increase graduate student applications from MSIs, the Rackham Graduate School will convene a working group to establish a coordinated strategy for supporting MSI initiatives in individual schools and colleges. In pursuit of this goal, the group will develop an approach for cultivating new alliances and enhancing existing partnerships with MSIs and will create a process for funding MSI initiatives within individual units.

Progress update

With the Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Summit cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, we launched a coffee chat series for scholars and practitioners to share ideas, best practices and other resources. The discussions focused on Carnegie Very High Research Activity University (R1) and Minority Serving Institution (MSI) relationships and mechanisms of support for students transitioning from MSIs into R1 for graduate and professional education. The series featured examples from U-M and highlighted exemplars from across the country as well as scholars and practitioners who explore and implement practices that foster positive experiences and outcomes for students from MSIs. 

As of June 23, 2021, the Pipeline Program hosted six coffee chats, three of which spotlighted U-M units (Political Science, Taubman College of Architecture of Urban Planning and Humanities) along with several of their MSI collaborators. Three other chats featured scholars and practitioners nationwide who engage in MSI relationships. In total, there were 122 coffee chat registrations, primarily from U-M with some representation from participants in other states.

During Year Five, Rackham continued to host quarterly MSI community meetings with MSI grantees to foster community and share best practices and outcomes. To date, all grant recipients have made significant progress, and two of them [School of Public Health and Climate and Space Engineering (CLASP)] have signed memoranda of understanding with their partnering MSIs. Other recipients are using the grants to create research opportunities for the summer and throughout the academic year as well as faculty exchanges and mentoring services for MSI students.

In terms of student-facing activities, Rackham hosted its first graduate school fair focused specifically on recruiting undergraduate students from MSIs. More than 50 U-M academic units participated in the event, which attracted approximately 240 visitors. 

In Year Five, Rackham continued its collaboration with and support of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) recruitment efforts, led primarily by the School of Pharmacy and focused on biomedical and health sciences. Since then, Rackham has expanded its outreach beyond the AUC to other MSI institutions. 

Rackham also hosted a virtual visit with the McNair Program of California State Long Beach and was subsequently invited to participate in an upcoming event with the Cheatham White Scholars of North Carolina Central. 

In addition, Rackham also hosted a healing circle for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), creating a space for students from HBCUs to share their experiences with a supportive community. In the future, this event will be conducted more frequently and extended to students from other MSI categories, including Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and Native American-Serving, Non-Tribal Institutions (NASNTIs).

Responsibility: Rackham Graduate School

The HAIL Scholarship Program

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016) 

To increase the socioeconomic diversity of the university’s undergraduate population and improve access for Michigan’s underserved communities, U-M will continue the HAIL (High Achieving Involved Leaders) Scholarship Program. This initiative provides full tuition and fees for high-achieving, low-income students from across the state.

Progress update

Since its inception in 2015, the HAIL Scholarship Program has contributed to an increase in applications from low-income students across Michigan, helping to grow the socioeconomic diversity of first-year entering classes. Overall, the program has boosted application, admission and matriculation rates, with the primary effect being a larger number of applications. During Year Five, the program encouraged 358 new low-income, first-year students to apply to U-M. Of those, 124 chose to enroll. In total, 1,253 HAIL recipients have enrolled during the first five years of the program, representing 77 Michigan counties and 330 high schools from across the state. Of these students, 87 percent received Pell Grants and 62 percent were the first in their families to attend college.

In Year Five of the DEI strategic plan, first-year retention metrics for HAIL Scholarship recipients continued to improve. The one-year retention rate for the first cohort (Fall 2016) was 92.4 percent. That number rose to 94.1 percent for the second cohort, 96 percent for the third cohort, and 97.4 percent for the fourth cohort. These statistics bring the HAIL retention rate in line with those of non-HAIL, in-state, low-income students. The four-year graduation rate for the first cohort (Fall 2016) was 62.3 percent, a number that is likely to grow over time, given the annual improvement in retention rates.

Table 1: Number of Applicants Among In-State Students with (Self-Reported) Family Incomes of $50,000 or Less (2015–2019)

Year Applications % Change over Baseline
Fall 2015 cohort (Baseline) 1,280
Fall 2016 cohort 1,724 25.8%
Fall 2017 cohort 1,695 24.5%
Fall 2018 cohort 2,103 39.1%
Fall 2019 cohort 1,858 31.1%
Fall 2020 cohort 1,659 22.8%

The HAIL Scholarship was initially offered to the Fall 2015 entering first-year class, which established a baseline for comparison in future years. Starting in Fall 2018, the Go Blue Guarantee has also contributed to the increase in low-income applicants from Michigan.

Responsibility: Office of Enrollment Management