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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