Office of the Provost

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan

Click here to see the University's strategic plan on the DEI Website


Five-Year Strategic Objectives, Measures and FY17 Actions

I. 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.

II. Planning Process Used

Planning Lead:  Catherine Shaw

Planning Team:

  • Amy Conger
  • Crystal Flynn
  • Catherine Shaw

Planning Process Summary: Information was gathered from the Human Resources Database and open office hours held for staff. These included three wide-ranging discussions with groups of staff that explored diversity, equity, and inclusion, and several informal interviews.  Team members reviewed information, analyzed data, and developed the 2016-17 diversity strategic plan based on what they learned from the sources.

Through the planning process, the 2015-16 team learned that staff members find it difficult to add meetings or other conversations to their calendars. (Schedules are highly responsive to unanticipated urgent needs.)  Going forward, the Office of the Provost diversity planning team will work to create different kinds of opportunities to providing input into DEI activities.  These include the planned survey and greater use of standing meetings.  The 2016-17 diversity leads will consult colleagues in other units to learn about additional alternatives.

III. Data and Analysis: Key Findings

Summary of Data: Review of the human resources data shows a fairly stable office staff.

Key Findings, Themes and Recommendations: The staff has been predominantly white and female for some time. The recent expansion led to greater diversity, as shown in the figures below.





Fleming Staff Count (total)








African American 3 2 6
Asian American 1 1 2
Latino/Latina 0 0 0
White 30 28 26
Other 1 1 1

Percent URM








Women 25 26 28
Men 10 6 6

Percent Men





Information gathered from staff indicates that they place a high value on contributing to the University of Michigan’s mission through their work.  They report that the high volume of work makes it difficult to find time to enhance their skills or develop new ones. They also report uncertainty about office policy related to pursuing professional development opportunities.  Staff does take advantage of opportunities to learn from each other on an ad hoc basis. 

A survey to gather information about how staff connects to work on diversity, equity, and inclusion will be undertaken in 2016-17.

IV. 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

As shown in Section III, the Office of the Provost staff is 17%URM and 17% men.  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 a diverse staff in accordance with the UM Human Resources Diversity Recruitment Initiative, hire staff members with diverse backgrounds.

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

FY17 Actions:
Develop policy and standard procedures for recruiting and hiring.
Develop good practices handbook for searching, interviewing, and onboarding staff.

Primary DE&I Goal: Diversity

Other applicable domain: 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.

FY17 Actions:
Collect and distribute information on appropriate programs.
Allocate funding for professional development.
Add appropriate questions about development to annual review documents.

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.

FY17 Actions:
Identify relevant campus activities.
Encourage staff to participate.
Encourage supervisors to support staff participation.
Use staff meetings for training and discussion of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Primary DE&I Goal: Diversity
Other applicable domain: Inclusion

C. Promoting an Equitable and Inclusive Community

Five-Year Strategic Objective 1:
Increase staff engagement in developing, evaluating and prioritizing actions to improve diversity, equity and inclusion 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.

FY17 Actions:
Determine ways to increase staff participation in planning process.
Discuss diversity strategic plan at regular staff meetings, for all levels of staff.

Primary DE&I 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 it.

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

FY17 Actions:
Identification of UM and other local resources for conflict resolution education and training.
Information about opportunities shared with staff members at all levels.

Primary DE&I Goal: Equity and Inclusion

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 inquiries about and use of existing programs.

FY17 Actions:
Develop tracking system that shows use of relevant programs.
Increase communication about these programs to all units and highlight them for incoming deans.

Primary DE&I Goal: Diversity


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

School, College or Unit Metrics

Composition of applicant/interview pools for each open position.

Report on participation in professional development programs, showing breakdown by staff

Track number of participants in DE&I programs across campus and within office.

VI. 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. Attract a diverse staff Composition of applicant pool, hiring results. Assess makeup of applicant pools, interview pools and hires for all open staff positions. Create tracking mechanism and issue reports annually. HR team of 2-3 who are most engaged in staff hiring. (Possibly R. Ashley, S. Schmidt, G. Grey for data/tech support.) NA
Staff in Office of the Provost in Fleming. Increase professional development opportunities. Included in annual review, increased participation. Determine appropriate programs, share information within office, support attendance with time and funding. All supervisors. 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. Increase knowledge of DE&I.
  • Increase awareness of campus DEI concerns.
  • Suggestions for programs within office.
  • Increased participation in MLK Day and other activities.
  • Discussions of opportunities at staff meeting.
  • Supervisors encourage participation.
Supervisors NA


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.

Increase engagement with DE&I issues within office. Suggestions for updating diversity plan.
  • Discussions of plan and new activities at staff meetings.
  • Survey on office activity to support DE&I.
  • Meeting organizers
  • DE&I team.
Staff in the Office of the Provost in Fleming. Develop mechanism for conflict resolution. All staff members have opportunities for education and training in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution training sessions are offered to staff at all levels.
  • U-M and other local resources are identified, evaluated, and contacted.
DE&I team Funding


D. Service

Key Constituency Strategic Objective Measures of Success Detailed Actions Planned (measurable, specific) Group/persons accountable Resources needed if applicable)
Schools/Colleges Increase diversity, equity, inclusion for faculty. Increased knowledge and use of Provost Office programs.
  • Updated information on website.
  • Engagement of new deans with these programs during onboarding.
  • Vice Provosts
  • New Dean Orientation planning group.
Funding to support increased requests from units.


VII. Plans for Supporting, Tracking and Updating the Strategic Plan

The Office of the Provost will appoint the key contact for diversity planning in FY 2017 before the start of the fall term.

During the 2016-17 academic year, the office will undertake activities described in the plan.  The key contact will be supported by a team of staff, including at least one representative from each rank in the office.  This group will lead the planning and implementation of the activities.

The diversity stewardship team will report quarterly to the Special Counsel of the Provost on activities undertaken and progress toward goals.  Progress reports will be shared and new ideas for additional work will be generated through discussion at staff meetings.


June 2, 2016