Defining Values, Improving Culture

As we continue to work toward improving our campus climate, we are raising awareness about how experiences, values and perspectives are influenced by identity and how we can work together to acquire the tools and confidence to build more inclusive and diverse communities.

University Action Items

The campus climate University action items are designed to support and strengthen the development of programs, policies and activities that encourage a culture of belonging in which every member of our community can grow and thrive.

Featured Campus Climate Action Items

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Student Support and Resources to Improve the Campus Climate

In Year Five, Student Life efforts to enhance campus climate were shaped by the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 and a heightened awareness of continued violence toward people of color, specifically police brutality targeting Black people.
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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Education and Training Resources

In Year Five, Organizational Learning (OL) responded to current events related to racial and social injustice that impacted the sense of psychological and physical safety for faculty and staff.
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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Contributions in Staff Evaluations

In Year Five, Organizational Learning (OL) continued its ongoing efforts to socialize the Michigan Expectations Model. OL also offered virtual training sessions such as Microlearning: Impactful Development Conversations for use by or with supervisors to encourage open and honest dialogue during the performance review process.
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Campus Spotlights

Our campus spotlights share stories of progress in campus climate efforts from among the 50 unit DEI Strategic Plans.

Featured Campus Climate Spotlights

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Masked students holding a Black Lives Matter protest on the Diag

Dentistry, Michigan Athletics, Law, Social Work

Advocacy, Support and Policies

Despite the pandemic, units across campus implemented programs, policies and practices to increase awareness, promote social and racial justice and engage activism. Among the many efforts, the School of Dentistry organized a new series of schoolwide discussions, the first examining the impact of racism and racial injustice on individuals, communities and society. Presented on June 25, “A Listening Session on Race, Anti-Racism and Racial Healing” drew more than 130 online participants. Additional sessions focused on “Impactful Allyship” and “Charting the Path Forward.” In Michigan Athletics, Wolverines Against Racism (WAR)—a student-sponsored organization launched in summer 2020—led the push for inclusion of the equality patch and calls to action on team uniforms and equipment. WAR also co-sponsored Athletics’ Juneteenth and MLK celebrations. At the Law School, the dean formed an independent Advisory Board on Race and Racism with the goal of helping Michigan realize the promise of a diverse, equitable and inclusive legal education experience. The Advisory Board is charged with 1) examining any issues of racism and disparity in the Law School community based on race and ethnicity and 2) issuing actionable, transformative recommendations for eradicating any systemic, institutional racism and discrimination and providing guidance for engaging issues of race in constructive ways. In 2020, the School of Social Work created an Anti-Racism Fund in response to concerns among student groups. The resulting anti-racism grants are available to support individual and group activities and projects for anti-racism work, with a focus on confronting and combating anti-Blackness, racism against Indigenous peoples and White supremacy.

A group of three people talking in the Diag. One is sitting on a bench and another person has a bicycle.

Information and Technology Services

Words Matter Task Force Creates Recommendations for Inclusive Language in ITS

In the past year, Information and Technology Services (ITS) appointed a Words Matter Task Force to enhance work culture by opening up dialogue around how language is used in their workplace. Recognizing that the meaning of words can change over time, the task force was charged with identifying terms used within the technology landscape that are, or can be construed to be, racist, sexist or non-inclusive, and to propose alternative words and phrases in the nomenclature and terminology of its daily work. In addition, the team was asked to provide guidance on future technology-related naming policies, principles and implementation procedures across ITS services. After several months of work, the team created a set of recommendations to highlight the importance of inclusive language, suggest new artifact-naming standards and provide guidance for further organizational development. The recommendations were shared with staff in December 2020, and continued organizational development training materials are in development.

A person in a wheelchair wearing gloves and holding a squirrel in their lap

Rackham Graduate School

Rackham Graduate Students with Disabilities Needs Assessment

In 2020, Rackham partnered with ADVANCE to conduct a first-in-the-nation study of the needs of graduate students with disabilities. Findings and recommendations generated by the report were posted on the Rackham website, and a case study was accepted for publication in A Practitioner’s Guide to Supporting Graduate and Professional Students (Routledge, forthcoming). Rackham is currently collaborating with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Office and other campus partners to enact recommendations generated by the study and subsequent report. This group will likely form the core of an advisory committee charged with supporting the implementation of those recommendations.