Infrastructure

Several core functions and activities have been essential to launch and sustain a campuswide DEI Strategic Plan implementation process in a large, complex university. The infrastructure items described below highlight the essential work that drives U-M’s centralized and decentralized DEI efforts which feature a central university plan and 50 unit plans operating concurrently. These infrastructure elements, providing organization, communication, funding and recognition structures and support, have become hallmarks of the U-M DEI Strategic Plan implementation success.

Infrastructure Items

Alignment of DEI Plans and Budgeting

To advance the integration of DEI work into all aspects of the university’s operations, starting in 2016, DEI efforts became a formal part of discussions and decisions for annual campus budget allocations. To maintain momentum and assure steady progress in all unit DEI action plans, the university aligned the annual DEI progress reporting process with the yearly U-M budget cycle. In addition, the chief diversity officer continues to attend budget meetings that are the basis for campuswide budget decisions.

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DEI efforts continue as a formal part of discussions and decisions for annual campus budget allocations

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Communications and Marketing

In support of DEI efforts across the university, communications professionals from ODEI and Public Affairs continued working together to provide critical updates and announcements to faculty, staff, students, and community members through social media, to promote events, and to raise awareness via publications at the local and national level. Achievements of Year Four included the launch of a DEI Strategic Planning Toolkit for universities nationwide and the roll-out of new website features for accessible and inclusive event planning.

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The university’s DEI efforts were consistently highlighted in both internal and external news publications at the local and national level

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Data Support

Since Year One of the DEI Strategic Plan implementation, ODEI has partnered with the Office of Budget and Planning and University Human Resources to build a repository of diversity, equity and inclusion-related data. In Fall 2018, the first release of the unit-level DEI Metrics reports was distributed to all units with DEI strategic plans, followed by the second release in Fall 2019. The third set of unit-level DEI Metrics reports was released in Summer 2020.

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The third set of unit-level DEI Metrics reports was distributed to all units with DEI strategic plans in Summer 2020

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fundraising

In collaboration with Chief Development Officers in every school, college, and unit, OUD’s Integrated Data Services (IDS) Team generated a DEI fundraising report. According to this report, the University of Michigan raised $13,811,767 for DEI initiatives from 14,440 unique donors in FY20. In Year Five, our efforts will continue to evolve as we address the challenges of reporting on DEI fundraising, which include identifying what constitutes a DEI fund and determining whether those definitions will change as the societal landscape shifts over time.

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The University of Michigan raised $13,811,767 for DEI initiatives from 14,440 unique donors in FY20

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Innovation Grant Program

In Year One of the strategic plan, the university established a dedicated DEI activity fund to encourage innovative ideas that promote, enhance, and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion campuswide. Under the terms of this three-year program, all students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to submit proposals for individual grants of up to $10K. In this third and final year of the DEI Innovation Grant Program, teams of faculty, students, and staff reviewed 134 applications—with 80 of those submitted by students. The 18 winners received funding that totaled nearly $95,000.

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The results for the third final year of this grant program included 6 staff awards for a total of $38,016; 6 student awards totaling $24,685 and 6 faculty awards totaling $32,274

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Professional Network

During Year Four, the campuswide network known as the DEI Implementation Leads Group (DEI-ILG) continued to support over 100 members representing all 50 planning units. The overall goal is to develop leaders across the institution, matching their commitment with needed skills in order to ensure real and lasting progress. In support of this goal, the DEI-ILG continued meeting on a monthly basis to share best practices, engage in professional development, receive updates and tools provided by central administration, and develop new resources such as a COVID-19 guide for DEI work and an anti-racism resource guide.

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During Year Four, the DEI Implementation Leads Group continued to support over 100 members representing all 50 planning units

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Recognition Awards

In Year Four, ODEI continued to collaboratively support and promote a number of awards intended to recognize individuals and groups of faculty, staff, and students whose efforts have significantly contributed to building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus environment. A growing number of schools, colleges, and units have also instituted DEI-related awards.

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Nominations for DEI recognition awards are widely solicited and publicized through campuswide communications

Staff Ombudsperson Position

In May of 2017, a working committee assembled by Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Robert M. Sellers recommended the appointment of a staff ombudsperson. This position was posted on April 23, 2018. Chief among the responsibilities for this position are providing university staff members with impartial conflict resolution services, information and referrals; serving as a campuswide resource for policy and procedures; acting as a liaison between individuals and university administration; identifying problems, trends and organizational concerns; and making recommendations for systems change.

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The Office of the Staff Ombuds provides all eligible staff with an accessible conflict resolution process that is clearly defined, fair, equitable, and free from reprisal