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Consideration of DEI Contributions in Promotion and Tenure Review

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

As part of the overall accountability efforts related to the DEI Strategic Plan, the Office of the Provost will convene a DEI Faculty Evaluations Working Group comprising deans and department chairs to determine how best to include DEI-related contributions in faculty evaluations and tenure reviews. This working group will develop methods for valuing efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion as service, and for ensuring inclusive teaching efforts and the consideration of DEI-related scholarship and service as part of the promotion and tenure process.

Progress update

The DEI-focused subcommittee of the Academic Programs Group (APG) has taken on this item for the past two years, culminating in a general recommendation that the university “adjust promotion criteria for faculty and staff with the goal of recognizing the ‘invisible DEI work’ that frequently goes unrecognized and which over time can decrease commitment to DEI.” Invisible work is defined as an unacknowledged workload burden for faculty and senior staff, and is frequently borne by individuals of color, women and others from minoritized communities.

Year Five was designated as a time to generate specific strategies for implementing this recommendation, with the goal of systemizing practices and processes that identify and “count” faculty’s previous or ongoing contributions to DEI work within the unit and beyond. 

Further efforts on this matter were delayed due to the pandemic but will restart in the current academic year. This is especially important, since in many cases, this invisible work results in minority faculty bearing larger than usual committee workloads as well as higher than usual mentoring and advising loads to meet the needs of diverse students, junior faculty and staff. Thus, recognizing invisible DEI work as part of the promotion and tenure review process for all faculty—and staff—may also help alleviate disproportionate workload burdens.

Responsibility: Office of the Provost

Inclusive Teaching Professional Development Programs

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

The university will continue to support the Inclusive Teaching Professional Development Programs offered by the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT). CRLT will both (1) continue to offer campuswide programs about inclusive teaching for instructors in multiple disciplines and (2) work with schools and colleges to create faculty professional development programs that reflect their particular pedagogical needs and make learning more inclusive and equitable across a diverse student body. In addition, CRLT will continue to offer inclusive teaching workshops for new and experienced graduate student instructors.

Progress update

During Year Five, CRLT pursued its mission through a growing roster of campuswide and unit-level programs despite pandemic-related constraints, which precluded all in-person workshops for the entire academic year. As a result, all programs were rethought and/or redesigned for remote participation. Despite these challenges, we offered a significantly higher number of DEI-focused programs to the campus (69 compared to 41 last year), with a particularly large number of offerings on the topic of anti-racist pedagogy. 

Among the 69 workshops and retreats offered to instructors in Year Five were 23 DEI-focused pedagogy workshops presented through CRLT’s fall, winter and spring/summer seminar series, the May Inclusive Teaching @ Michigan (IT@M) series, and Enriching Scholarship as well as 46 customized programs for departments, schools and colleges. DEI was also a strong focus of CRLT’s Teaching Academy programs, which this year served new faculty in three schools and colleges. The Health Sciences Teaching Academy, serving seven schools and colleges, was postponed due to COVID.  

Year Five saw a major expansion of CRLT’s programs on anti-racist pedagogy, both for campuswide audiences and in response to requests for customized programs for individual departments, schools and colleges. In all, 40 programs on anti-racist pedagogy were presented: five workshops in the CRLT seminar series and 35 anti-racist pedagogy programs offered to instructors in 12 schools and colleges (including the libraries and nine departments/units in LSA), the Liaisons for Inclusive Teaching and ADG. A CRLT staff member also served on LSA’s anti-racism task force, which made recommendations to the dean. 

The CRLT Players continued to promote a climate resistant to sexual harassment through five departmental sessions along with a fully online module for leadership teams. In total, 58 leadership teams enrolled for the modules, and the Players offered five synchronous follow-up discussion sessions. They also presented 12 performances of two new sketches on departmental climate issues faced by minoritized students, and created a video titled “Act for Equity,” which was shown at instructor orientations and workshops.

Programs and workshops on inclusive teaching offered specifically for lecturers included a yearlong professional development program funded by ODEI and a half-day orientation program for new LSA lecturers created in partnership with LSA.

During Fall and Winter terms, 2,244 GSIs and undergraduate instructional aides (IAs) completed modules on inclusive teaching and watched the “Act for Equity” video as part of campuswide and Engineering-specific GSI/IA teaching orientations. All modules were newly developed to support the fully asynchronous orientation programs. In addition, CRLT once again collaborated with IGR on the five-part Diversity and Inclusive Teaching Seminar for graduate students, co-sponsored by Rackham.

To further support its work in all schools and colleges, CRLT:

  • Published blogposts on topics related to inclusive teaching, including a three-part collaboration with the Ginsberg Center on posts leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
  • Continued to conduct one-on-one consultations with dozens of instructors, among them teams from 16 courses focused on equity in teaching as part of the Foundational Course Initiative (FCI). New this year was FCI’s intensive focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) as part of its Course Design Institute, which introduced five new courses in May.
  • Conferred with unit leaders in multiple schools and colleges on professional development programs for faculty and assessment strategies for inclusive teaching as part of annual review and promotion processes.

Responsibility: Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT)

James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship

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

The university will establish a new career award, administered by the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), to celebrate and honor faculty whose scholarship has contributed significantly to our understanding or appreciation of groups that have traditionally been understudied. Primary goals of this award will be to build a more robust body of knowledge and teaching in these areas, elevate these research foci nationally and provide important recognition to scholars whose work may have been undervalued in the past.

Progress update

The James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship is bestowed biennially on faculty members who have made significant contributions to understanding diversity and addressing disparities in contemporary society. Established in 2017, the award is named for its first recipient—whose passing on September 1 of 2020 was a major loss to our community. A new recipient was selected in 2021.

Consistent with the biennial award process, in April, 2021 the selection committee reviewed nominees representing schools and colleges across the U-M campus.

In July 2021, the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) announced Dr. Arline Geronimus, professor of health behavior & health education and associate director & research professor at the Population Studies Center in the Institute for Social Research, as the 2021 award  recipient. Dr. Geronimus is a national and international leader in population health. She has made unique and seminal contributions to theory, empirical research, methodology and practice as it relates to diversity. Her interdisciplinary abilities and collaborations have been consistently at the vanguard of several fields including public health, medicine, economics, political science, critical race theory and applied anthropology. 

In 2019, the award recipient was Dr. Patricia Gurin, the Nancy Cantor Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women’s Studies. A social psychologist, Dr. Gurin’s work has focused on social identity, the role of social identity in political attitudes and behavior, motivation and cognition in achievement settings, and the role of social structure in intergroup relations.

Responsibility: National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID)

University Diversity & Social Transformation Professorship (UDSTP)

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

The university will establish a program to recruit and support faculty across campus and beyond whose research addresses diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues, with an emphasis on cutting-edge and next-generation scholarship. Designated as University Diversity & Social Transformation Professors (UDSTP), these faculty will be affiliated with the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID). Through NCID’s Diversity Scholars Network, they will have access to special activities and resources for promoting and supporting their work, as well as to scholarly collaborations with diversity scholars.

Progress update
In Year Five, NCID continued to engage and support the work of current University Diversity and Social Transformation Professors (UDSTP), a cadre that now includes 18 U-M faculty across three cohorts. These high-achieving honorees represent the disciplines of art and design, history, sport management, public policy, social work, physics, biomedical engineering, psychology, dentistry, women’s and gender studies, education, management, electrical engineering and computer science.

NCID worked jointly with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) in Year Five to oversee the nomination and selection of the third cohort of UDSTPs. Recipients were nominated by a U-M dean, selected by a university committee and recommended by the provost for this distinction. The four faculty members recommended for this honor in 2021 are Lilia M. Cortina, professor of psychology and of women’s and gender studies in LSA, and a professor of management and organizations in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business; Trachette L. Jackson, professor of mathematics in LSA; Hitomi Tonomura, professor of history and of women’s and gender studies in LSA; and Herbert G. Winful, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Joseph E. and Anne P. Rowe Professor of Electrical Engineering and professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering, and professor of physics in LSA. The U-M Board of Regents approved the appointments July 15.

In Year Five, NCID also continued to partner with the Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) to develop a series of videos aimed at elevating and disseminating the work of UDST professors. Production is scheduled to begin in fall 2021.  

As part of its ongoing work to connect and build community among UDSTPs, NCID and ODEI hosted a meeting of past recipients. In addition, several of the faculty  were invited to share their work at bimonthly NCID community meetings. Also in Year Five, NCID and the ODEI launched an annual UDSTP lecture series, with the inaugural lecture delivered by UDST Professor Susan Dynarski on the topic of “Understanding the Effect of the HAIL Scholarship on Student Decisions.”

Responsibility: National Center for Institutional Diversity

Diversity Scholars Network

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

The National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) will expand its current multi-institutional Diversity Scholars Network (DSN) to include a UM-specific component. As part of this work, the NCID will conduct a census of university faculty and researchers whose scholarship intersects with diversity, equity and inclusion, defined broadly. They will also create a U-M research advisory group representing an array of disciplines and academic units. The primary goals will be to develop infrastructure and programming for the campuswide network, promote and facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration and catalyze cutting-edge diversity research and scholarship.

Progress update

In Year Five, NCID continued to engage its University of Michigan Diversity Scholars Network (DSN) members  in a number of innovative and meaningful ways, despite the many adjustments and restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initiatives were wide-ranging and included a series of webinars featuring U-M DSN members from U-M and across the country as well as publications, podcasts and a nationwide academic collaboration.

DSN webinars produced during the 2020–21 academic year focused on a broad array of topics, including:

  • Race, Sport & Restorative Justice:  Implications for Higher Education
  • Black College Students Mental Health:  What Institutions Need to Know and Do to Support Healing and Thriving in a Time of Racial Crisis
  • Forgotten Bodies:  Conversations on Research & Recognition
  • Insisting on Immigrant Belonging, 46 and Beyond
  • Remaking a Life:  How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality
  • LGBTQ+ College Students and Mental Health Possibilities (in progress) 

In addition, the network promoted and supported the scholarly efforts of its U-M members through NCID’s monthly newsletter and the Spark series, dedicated to elevating scholarship on social issues. Year Five series presentations featuring U-M DSN members included “Disabled and Chronically Ill:  Navigating the Work Inside” and “Outside the Academy and Immigration, Voter Suppression and Political Engagement in the 2020 Election.” 

During Year Five, U-M DSN members participated in an NCID-curated series for The Academic Minute, a two-and-a-half-minute daily module spotlighting researchers from colleges and universities worldwide. During Academic Minute’s U-M week, diversity scholars discussed the interplay between COVID-19 and issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. Under the auspices of NCID, DSN members at U-M and across the country also collaborated with the Democracy & Debate Theme Semester to launch the Kamala Harris Public Syllabus. Designed to support an exploration of Harris and the vice presidency, this public “syllabus” reflects the goals of the theme semester as well as U-M’s ongoing commitment to engage with the debates around and challenges to American democracy as we prepare the next generation of global citizens and leaders.

In Year Five, NCID once again convened a DSN advisory group of seven scholars representing multiple U-M units and departments to provide guidance, direction and advice. This group consists of clinical, assistant, associate and full professors from the fields of psychology, linguistics, sociology and public health.

Finally, work continued on “Mapping Diversity Scholars at U-M,” a campuswide directory of U-M scholars conducting DEI-related scholarship across all 19 schools and colleges. To date, almost 400 diversity scholars have been identified and will be included in a website scheduled for launch in the 2021–22 academic year.

In fall 2020, the DSN added 123 new members—16 from U-M—representing 80 institutions of higher education. This brings the total number of diversity scholars in the DSN to 1,020.

Responsibility: National Center for Institutional Diversity