Office of the Provost

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan

Click here to see the Campuswide Strategic Plan on the University's DEI Website

 

Five-Year Strategic Objectives, Measures and FY21 Actions

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan: Overview


At the University of Michigan, our dedication to academic excellence for the public good is
inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    President Mark S. Schlissel
    Charge to the University of Michigan Community
    Fall 2015

Goals: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity: We commit to increasing diversity, which is expressed in myriad forms, including race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status, and political perspective.

Equity: We commit to working actively to challenge and respond to bias, harassment, and discrimination. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status.

Inclusion: We commit to pursuing deliberate efforts to ensure that our campus is a place where differences are welcomed, different perspectives are respectfully heard and where every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We know that by building a critical mass of diverse groups on campus and creating a vibrant climate of inclusiveness, we can more effectively leverage the resources of diversity to advance our collective capabilities.

Rationale: Mission, Vision, Values of the Office of the Provost

The Office of the Provost leads academic affairs across the Ann Arbor campus. Its mission is to ensure that the University of Michigan, as a whole, can fulfill its mission “to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving, and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.”

The work of the Office of the Provost impacts faculty, students, and staff at the University. The vice provostial areas indicate the breadth of responsibilities handled by the staff in the Fleming Building: academic affairs, budget, diversity, equity, faculty affairs, global and engaged education, inclusion, and space planning.

Each of these areas offers opportunities for work on diversity, equity, and inclusion. As befits a central office in a decentralized institution, much of the work done in the provost’s office supports the work of the schools, colleges, and other academic affairs units. With deep knowledge of and experience with University of Michigan policies, procedures, and practices, the staff in the Fleming Building assist the schools, college, and academic units in areas including budgeting, faculty recruitment and retention, international and community partnerships, leadership development, relationships with community colleges, student recruitment and retention, and use of space to support academic excellence.

 

Implementation Highlights and Planning Process Used

Implementation Leads Additional Key Contacts
Kimberly Brown Erin Fluharty
Crystal Flynn Christine Gerdes
Tyne Lucas

Year Four Implementation Summary

Year four began with a focus on the need for improving engagement across all levels of staff, which was fostered and prioritized by the provost. Leadership addressed participation in DEI programming specifically with vice provost level staff. A clear expectation was communicated, setting the tone for engagement in year four.

Our engagement began positively with robust participation from provost office staff. However, early in the year, a number of circumstances derailed planned programming: a medical leave for the provost postponed a planned DEI themed retreat in November; in January, an acting and subsequently interim provost was named because of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by the provost; and in March, the onslaught of the coronavirus across the country necessitated a state mandated stay-at-home order. This forced the cancellation of the rescheduled staff retreat and all other in-person training, programs and events, most notably a workshop on culture change developed by Organizational Learning specifically for the Office of the Provost.

These challenges inspired the development of DEI ALIVE: Active Learning in (a) Virtual Environment, which was intended to continue staff engagement with DEI related content and conversation.  These sessions have proven to be a huge success, with an average of 30 participants in each session. The culture change workshop, Creating the Climate We Desire, was also presented virtually with a majority of the office participating. Both of these programs will continue and expand in year five with guest facilitators, the formation of internal working groups for culture change, and deeper collaboration with other units.

Recent events involving police brutality and the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color have highlighted the need for dismantling systems of oppression. In year five, in addition to examining our office culture, we plan to interrogate the ways in which systemic racism shows up in American society and how the Office of the Provost can address this and what it means to be anti-racist.

Year Three Implementation Summary

Year three of implementation was the first year we had the benefit of an entire year of structured meetings with leadership. We found this helpful in keeping leadership apprised of our progress and checking in on action items that are owned by leadership. Leadership support is necessary in moving forward on action items that require procedural/structural changes. It also continues to be a key factor in the engagement of staff at all levels.

In year three, we had three major focuses: 1) addressing findings in our unit climate survey results; 2) offering a wide array of DEI activities at a regular cadence; and 3) increasing participation in DEI activities, particularly with Vice Provosts and Associate/Assistant Vice Provost level staff.  We were able to begin addressing our climate survey results and we more than doubled the number of DEI learning opportunities by offering or promoting a DEI event every month during the academic year. Overall, engagement is still a struggle; however, it was encouraging to have greater participation from the Associate/Assistant Vice Provosts and a slight increase in participation amongst all staff.

In our efforts to engage staff, we scheduled most events during the lunch hour, which has had some success in the past; we sent email “save-the-dates” and formal invitations with several follow-up reminders, and we scheduled some events during our senior leadership meeting times to increase the likelihood of their availability. While we did experience a slight increase in staff participation but there is still opportunity for improvement.

To address the need for improving participation, we plan to focus year four on facilitating a deeper level of commitment by the Provost, Vice Provosts, Special Counsel to the Provost, and Chief of Staff/HR Director. There must be a paradigm shift in the prioritization and expectations connected to the DEI initiative in order to make meaningful changes to the culture within the Office of the Provost. That shift should begin with leadership.

Year Two Implementation Summary

In year one of implementation we identified several challenges that impeded engagement of staff within our office. Primary to those challenges was the lack of a strong connection of leadership to the unit’s DEI plan and related activities. Therefore, in year two we specifically focused on reaching out to leadership and stressing the importance of having their support and visibility connected to our DEI efforts. It was particularly important to have leadership encourage the participation and engagement of senior level staff. Having two key leadership positions filled was important in activating leadership and developing deeper engagement. Although this was positive progress during year two, it happened late in the year given the timing of hiring. Despite this stalling of efforts in the early part of the year, the impact of leadership support was immediately evident and allowed us to gain great traction and momentum in the latter part of the year.

Engagement of senior level staff and time constraints for all staff continue to present some barriers. However, we are encouraged by having leadership at the table to brainstorm ideas for how to address these barriers and increase participation in DEI-related events at the unit level and across campus.

The establishment of the Provost office DEI Newsletter has also given us another avenue to communicate with staff and create awareness about DEI events happening across campus and within our unit. Also, the establishment of weekly DEI lead touch base meetings and monthly touch base meetings with leadership creates dedicated time to review implementation progress, plan engagement activities and develop ideas to address challenges/barriers.

Year two implementation had a slow start but is closing out very strong. We hope to carry this momentum forward for a stellar year three.

Year One Implementation Summary

Year one was a year of learning for the 2016-2017 DEI leads. The challenges that were identified during the planning process proved to be barriers to completing the planned action items. Time constraints for the leads made it difficult to develop extensive communication strategies and plan unit level events. Similarly, staff had difficulty finding time to participate in DEI related events and activities. The siloed approach to staff meetings was also identified as a barrier. Leadership and support staff meet separately and the DEI leads do not have access to leadership meetings. This made it difficult to engage all levels of the staff.

Given the many challenges, there were things that did work well. Having a small staff made it easy to communicate and encourage participation. The leads used this to their advantage by speaking face-to-face with each member of the staff to encourage attendance at the DEI Strategic Plan Launch event to encourage participation in the All Staff Climate Survey. This proved successful with approximately 60-70% staff attendance at the DEI Plan Launch and 82.3% participation in the All Staff Climate Survey. Hosting unit level events over the lunch hour also worked well, particularly with support staff. The DEI leads met with other DEI leads and joined the Fleming Building DEI Committee, which was established to collaborate, share best practices, and produce DEI events aimed at building community across units within the building. Because many of the leads on the Fleming DEI Committee are in units much like the Office of the Provost – small in size and staff centric – ideas shared within this group translate well and can be easily replicated.

Moving forward, the leads will focus on developing communication strategies that are consistent, effective, and that reach all levels of staff. Identifying a DEI champion within the leadership team that can carry information to leadership will also be a goal. Having support and buy-in from leadership will be critical. A new Provost will start in the fall of 2017. This is an opportunity to educate him about the Office of the Provost DEI Plan and outline how leadership can support the work of the DEI leads. Planning and creating a budget for 2017-18 unit level DEI events and activities will increase success and support from leadership.

Data and Analysis: Key Findings

Year Four Key Findings

Engagement

Year four commenced with a collaborative event with the Fleming DEI Committee – a screening of the film, Me, the Other, a documentary that highlights the experiences of a diverse group of students in Washtenaw County. Approximately 150 staff from the Fleming building and others that report to units within Fleming attended the screening, which also included small group activities and a facilitated discussion with the larger audience.

Participation in the Diversity Summit in October, with political commentator Van Jones, was also heavily promoted and well attended by Provost office staff. One strategic objective in particular – mandatory sexual misconduct training – was completed by 100% of staff and unit leadership, including the special counsel to the provost, chief of staff and the implementation leads, participated in a day-long sexual misconduct training in February.

Office of the Provost DEI Activities – AY 2019-20
Participation/Attendance Data

Activity
Actual Atttendance
(based on Zoom usage report)
Percentage of Staff Participation

Me, the Other - September 9. 2019
Film & Discussion

No data*
N/A

DEI ALIVE - May 7, 2020
How Racism and Poverty Made Detroit a New Coronavirus Hotspot
Article Discussion

40
65

DEI ALIVE - May 21, 2020
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race
Ted Talk Video and Discussion

34
55

DEI ALIVE - June 4, 2020
Seven Last Words of the Unarmed
Slide Presentation, Video & Article Discussion

40
65
Creating Our Desired Culture Workshop - June 24, 2020
40**
87

DEI ALIVE - July 23, 2020
Segregation by Design
Video Discussion

39
63

*This event was a collaborative activity with the Fleming DEI Committee.
**Office of Institutional Equity staff were not invited to this activity as it was developed for Provost staff in the Fleming building and vice provosts only.

Key Findings:

  1. Data from Zoom usage reports in the table above show that on average, 67% percent of Provost Office staff attended events that encouraged growth and learning around DEI. This was an increase of nearly 30% from the previous year.
  2. This growth can be attributed to leadership participation and leadership encouraging ALL staff to attend these events.
  3. Virtual meetings allowed more flexibility. We believe this led to increased participation.

Planning, Development and Implementation

We anticipate that most programming in year 5 will continue to be virtual due to COVID-19 and the directive to work from home.  The DEI Implementation Leads will maintain weekly meetings to create, plan and curate DEI related content and activities.

We will extend the DEI ALIVE sessions on a monthly basis with a focus on addressing systemic societal racism.

Additionally, a workgroup will be charged with developing recommendations that are in-line with the values identified by staff in our “Creating Our Desired Culture” workshop.

Key Findings:

  1. Our efforts will continue to build on the success of the DEI ALIVE series.
  2. The culture change workgroup is an outgrowth of the need to address sexual misconduct in the unit as well as campus-wide.
  3. We learned from the culture change workshop that staff feels there is a lack of opportunities to meet. Leadership has implemented monthly “coffee hours” for the office. We will advocate for continuance of these meetings.

 

Strategic Objectives, Measures of Success and Action Plans

The Office of the Provost’s strategic objectives, planned activities, and measures of success are presented below. All strategic objectives and related actions will be pursued in accordance with federal and state law and University of Michigan policy.

A. Recruitment, Retention, and Development

To sustain and enhance diversity, the Office of the Provost recognizes that it is important to have standard and well-documented human resources practices, particularly in recruitment, hiring, and professional development. Clear human resources practices will help to ensure that there are diverse applicant pools, that all applicants receive equitable treatment, and that all staff members have opportunities that will help them reach their career goals.

Five-Year Strategic Objective 1:
Attract and retain a diverse staff in accordance with the UM Human Resources Diversity Recruitment Initiative; hire staff from diverse backgrounds.

Measures of Success:
• Composition of applicant pools for future positions (# URM, # male), compare with past applicant pools.
• Hiring of staff members with diverse backgrounds.

FY 21 Action Items:
• Continue to monitor, document and update best practices that ensure diverse applicant pools.
• Continue to use University Human Resources practices and guidelines for recruiting and hiring.
• Assess makeup of applicant pools, interview pools and hires for any/all open staff positions.
• Regularly review onboarding guide to update and align with current information, trends and practices.

Primary DEI Goal: Diversity
Other applicable domain(s): Equity, Inclusive Community

Five-Year Strategic Objective 2:
Support high quality professional development and other learning opportunities to encourage professional growth of staff and strengthen performance throughout the office.

Measures of Success:
• Development of policy and distribution of policy to all staff members.
• Professional development plans included in annual reviews of staff.
• Staff participation in appropriate programs on or off campus.

FY21 Action Items:
• Allocate funding for professional development when spending restrictions are lifted.
• Communication from leadership encouraging no-cost professional development.

Primary DEI Goal: Equity

B. Education and Scholarship

Five-Year Strategic Objective 1:
Create opportunities for staff to increase their knowledge and awareness regarding diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and within the University more broadly.

Measures of Success:
• Increased understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues at the University.
• Development of ideas for continued learning in this area.
• Staff participation in office or campus activities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

FY21 Action Items:
• Plan, develop and implement DEI related trainings and presentations.
• Encourage staff participation in unit level and appropriate campus DEI activities.
• Encourage supervisors to support staff participation.
• Use staff meetings for training and discussion of DEI related topics.

Primary DEI Goal: Diversity
Other applicable domain(s): Inclusion

C. Promoting an Equitable and Inclusive Community

Five-Year Strategic Objective 1:
Increase staff engagement in developing, evaluating and prioritizing actions to improve DEI in the Office of the Provost.

Measures of Success:
• Number of suggestions for updating diversity strategic plan/activities.
• Participation by broader group of staff in planning process.

FY21 Action Items:
• Discuss diversity strategic plan at regular staff meetings, for all levels of staff.
• Seek staff input and recommendations for diversity related initiatives, activities and continued development of the strategic plan.
• Implement recommendations from culture change workgroup.
• Link Office of the Provost strategic plan in all DEI communications.
• Host Provost Office DEI Retreat to give staff dedicated time to learn what is in the strategic plan and engage in brainstorming ways to accomplish goals.

Primary DEI Goal: Equity and Inclusion

Five-Year Strategic Objective 2:
Develop means for resolving conflicts by providing all staff members with opportunities for education and training about conflict resolution, empowering the staff to develop tools for conflict resolution that are applicable to the workplace and beyond.

Measures of Success:
• All staff members have access to education and training about conflict resolution.

FY21 Action Items:
• Publicize existing University pathways for reporting concerns and encourage staff to report concerns for resolution.
• Identification of UM and/or other resources for conflict resolution education and training.
• Information about conflict resolution opportunities are shared with staff at all levels.

Primary DEI Goal: Equity and Inclusion

Five-Year Strategic Objective 3:
Educate our community on Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct Prevention in an effort to promote a safe and supportive environment for all members to work, learn, and thrive.

Measures of Success:
• All staff members have completed mandatory sexual harassment and misconduct prevention training.
• All staff members participate in the Office of the Provost sexual harassment and misconduct prevention training session

FY21 Action Items:
• Support central efforts to educate faculty, staff and students on the forthcoming University of Michigan policy on Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct Prevention (“umbrella policy”).
• Develop and socialize unit specific value statements that align and reinforce the forthcoming university level values that promote culture and climate change consistent with both the DEI and Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct Prevention work that is already underway.

D. Service
The Office of the Provost serves the schools, colleges, and other academic affairs units of the University. Many office activities support the diversity, equity, and inclusion work of these units.

Five-Year Strategic Objective 1:
Review Office of the Provost activities that support diversity, equity, and inclusion in other units and identify ways to make them better known and more effectively used.

Measures of Success:
• Increased awareness/inquiries about and use of existing programs.

FY21 Action Items:
• Finalize and begin to implement a plan to address anti-racism at U-M, in ways that build on and leverage our extensive on-going DEI efforts, and the final year of our 5-year DEI Strategic Plan.
• Update Provost Office website to make information easier to access.

Primary DEI Goal: Diversity

 

Goal-related Metrics – School, college or unit measures tracked over time

    School, College or Unit Metrics
  • Headcount
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Sex
  • Age
  •  

        Climate Survey Indicators
    • Satisfaction with unit climate/environment in work unit
    • Assessment of semantic aspects of the general climate in work unit
    • Assessment of semantic aspects of the DEI climate in work unit
    • Feeling valued in work unit
    • Feeling of belongingness in work unit
    • Assessment of work unit commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Perceptions of equal opportunity for success in work unit
    • Feeling able to perform up to full potential in work unit
    • Feelings of professional growth in work unit
    • Feelings of discrimination in work unit

     

    Action Planning Tables with Details and Accountabilities

    A. Recruitment, Retention and Development

    Key Constituency Strategic Objective Measures of Success Detailed Actions Planned
    (measurable, specific)
    Group/persons accountable Resources needed (if applicable)
    Staff in Office of the Provost in Fleming.

    1. Attract and retain a diverse staff in accordance with the UM Human Resources Diversity Recruitment Initiative; hire staff from diverse backgrounds. Composition of applicant pool, hiring results.
  • Continue to monitor, document and update best practices that ensure diverse applicant pools.
  • Continue to use University Human Resources practices and guidelines for recruiting and hiring.
  • Assess makeup of applicant pools, interview pools and hires for any/all open staff positions.
  • Regularly review onboarding guide to update and align with current information, trends and practices.
  • HR Director and additional staff most engaged in staff hiring.

    NA

    Staff in Office of the Provost in Fleming. Increase professional development opportunities. Included in annual review, increased participation; development of policy and distribution of policy to all staff members; increased participation in programs on and off campus. Determine appropriate programs, share information within office, support attendance with time and funding. All supervisors

    DEI Leads
    Funding to support attendance.

     

    B. Education and Scholarship

    Key Constituency Strategic Objective Measures of Success Detailed Actions Planned
    (measurable, specific)
    Group/persons accountable Resources needed (if applicable)
    Staff in the Office of the Provost in Fleming. 1. Create opportunities for staff to increase their knowledge and awareness regarding diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and within the University more broadly. Increase awareness of campus DEI concerns; Suggestions/ideas for continued learning within office; increased participation in DEI related activities.
  • Plan, develop and implement DEI related trainings and presentations.
  • Encourage staff participation in unit level and appropriate campus DEI activities.
  • Encourage supervisors to support staff participation.
  • Use staff meetings for training and discussion of DEI related topics.
  • Supervisors

    DEI Leads
    Funding for training, marketing, incentives, etc.

     

    C. Promoting an Equitable and Inclusive Community

    Key Constituency Strategic Objective Measures of Success Detailed Actions Planned
    (measurable, specific)
    Group/persons accountable Resources needed (if applicable)
    Staff in the Office of the Provost in Fleming. 1. Increase staff engagement in developing, evaluating and prioritizing actions to improve DEI in the Office of the Provost. Suggestions for updating diversity plan; participation of staff in planning process.
  • Discuss diversity strategic plan at regular staff meetings, for all levels of staff.
  • Seek staff input and recommendations for diversity related initiatives, activities and continued development of the strategic plan.
  • Implement recommendations from culture change workgroup.
  • Link Office of the Provost strategic plan in all DEI communications.
  • Host Provost Office DEI Retreat to give staff dedicated time to learn what is in the strategic plan and engage in brainstorming ways to accomplish goals.
  • DEI team

    HR Director
    Survey developer; funding
    Staff in the Office of the Provost in Fleming. 2. Develop means for resolving conflicts by providing all staff members with opportunities for education and training about conflict resolution, empowering the staff to develop tools for conflict resolution that are applicable to the workplace and beyond. All staff members have opportunities for education and training in conflict resolution.
  • Publicize existing University pathways for reporting concerns and encourage staff to report concerns for resolution.
  • Identification of UM and/or other resources for conflict resolution education and training.
  • Information about conflict resolution opportunities are shared with staff at all levels.
  • DEI team

    HR Director
    Funding
    Staff in the Office of the Provost in Fleming. 3. Educate our community on sexual and gender based misconduct prevention in an effort to promote a safe and supportive environment for all members to work, learn, and thrive. All staff members have completed mandatory sexual harassment and misconduct prevention training.
  • Support central efforts to educate faculty, staff and students on the forthcoming University of Michigan policy on sexual and gender based misconduct prevention (“umbrella policy”).
  • Develop and socialize unit specific value statements that align and reinforce the forthcoming university level values that promote culture and climate change consistent with both the DEI and sexual and gender based misconduct prevention work that is already underway.
  •    

     

    D. Service

    Key Constituency Strategic Objective Measures of Success Detailed Actions Planned
    (measurable, specific)
    Group/persons accountable Resources needed (if applicable)
    Schools/Colleges 1. Review Office of the Provost activities that support DEI in other units and identify ways to make them better known and more effectively used. Increased knowledge and use of Provost Office programs.
  • Finalize and begin to implement a plan to address anti-racism at U-M, in ways that build on and leverage our extensive on-going DEI efforts, and the final year of our 5 year DEI Strategic Plan.
  • Update Provost Office website to make information easier to access.
  • Provost administrative staff Website development and support.

     

    Plans for Supporting, Tracking and Updating the Strategic Plan

    • During the 2020-21 academic year, the office will undertake activities described in the plan. The implementation leads will be supported in this work by the key contacts. The implementation team will continue to meet monthly with the Special Counsel and Chief of Staff to ensure continuity in planning, developing and implementing events and activities as well as creating messaging directly from the Provost.

    • The implementation team will create a process to track the completion of action items and will use this information to update the strategic plan.

     

    Updated September 4, 2020