Unit Spotlights

Scholarship & Teaching

The following gallery features a number of unit spotlights sharing stories of progress from among the 50 unit DEI Strategic Plans.

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A Black female student speaking at a round table
Ford School of Public Policy
Leadership Skills for Transformative Public Service

The Leadership Initiative at the Ford School provides our students with the critical leadership development skills that allow them to be the “leaders and best” in their careers—to lead organizations, to lead others and to lead self. Leadership development skills allow students to have a better understanding of their lived experiences and strengths, and those of others, to build better relationships and encourage the best from their colleagues.

The Leadership Initiative is a natural space to address and better understand issues of diverse leadership, difference and concepts of mutual benefit when engaging with diverse communities. Some of the DEI-focused activities related to the Leadership Initiative this year included:

  • competency-based curricula that includes a strong focus on management and leadership skills.
  • seminars, workshops, and leadership skill-building opportunities on topics ranging from “Women Leading Local Government” to “Entering & Engaging with Communities.”
  • interaction with a diverse group of leaders like Condoleeza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and many other current and former policy leaders at all levels who model exemplary leadership practices, lessons, and reflections.
  • individual assessments that enhanced students’ self-awareness and understanding of others.
Duderstadt Center
Women in Media Technology Panel Discussion

The Duderstadt Center presented a 2020 Media & Studio Arts Symposium, titled “Inventing Oneself through Art & Technology,” which included an evening panel featuring women discussing their work in media and technology, a largely male-dominated field. The event was open to all faculty, students, staff and the public, and was moderated by Deb Mexicotte, managing director of ArtsEngine at the Duderstadt Center.

Presenters included:

  • Piper Payne (U-M alum), Audio Mastering Engineer
  • Brandie Lane, United States Army Sergeant First Class and non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the Audio Section with the West Point Band, U.S. Military Academy
  • Connie Huang (U-M alum), Professional Camera Assistant for such films as The Goldfinch, The Greatest Showman, Bridge of Spies, The Post, and West Side Story
  • Dr. Leah N. Claiborne, D.M.A, (U-M alum), Coordinator of Keyboard Studies, Instructor of History of African American Music at the University of District of Columbia
A group of people seated around a table at a workshop
Center for Research on Learning and Teaching
Expansion of Support for Instructors Teaching About Race, Racism, and Social Justice

In collaboration with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), CRLT offered a set of programs for instructors who teach courses that fulfill LSA’s race and ethnicity (R&E) requirement. This year’s support included ongoing individual and unit consultations, two GSI learning communities in Fall and Winter terms (engaging a total of 34 GSIs across five schools and 15 departments) and a new, R&E-focused cohort of Graduate Student Instructional Consultants.

CRLT also offered a Winter 2020 lunch program for faculty teaching R&E courses (engaging about 45 instructors), and a new R&E-focused workshop for the CRLT Fall and Winter seminar series as well as customized workshops for faculty units across campus.

A group of people having a conversation around a table
College of Engineering
Incorporating DEI into the Promotion and Tenure Review Process

Within the College of Engineering, DEI statements are now a staple of third-year faculty reviews as well as promotion and tenure casebooks. Currently, the college is working with the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) to establish rubrics for the evaluation of these statements and is developing faculty guidance on ways to engage in DEI activities.

One department within CoE has created a manual to support this work, which is being considered for collegewide distribution. We view CoE’s progress as potentially trailblazing and look forward to future discussions with deans across campus about taking similar steps.

A historical photo of women in a group hug
Bentley Historical Library
A New “History of the University of Michigan” Website

In December 2019, the Bentley Historical Library launched the latest version of the History of U-M website. The site is designed as a portal to publications and posts from across the university dealing with the history of U-M in ways that are celebratory, critical and everything in between. Intended to continue the momentum of the university’s 2017 bicentennial, it provides an opportunity to collect and promote inquiry into the past. In particular, the site highlights U-M’s historical successes and failures in achieving diversity, equity and inclusion. The homepage regularly features several rotating pieces that have, to date, included stories on the racial justice advocacy group BBUM, (“Being Black at U-M”) the struggle to admit women in the 19th century (“As to the Woman Question”), the informal segregation and integration of student housing (“An Unwritten Law”) and the achievements of women and minorities (e.g., “In Her Own Right” and “Firmly in the Driver’s Seat”). Although we are still working to raise the profile of the website, we can report that among the pieces most accessed are "Pride and Prejudice,” about Jim Toy and gay rights on campus; “Being Black at U-M”; and “An Unwritten Law."