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Updated September 7, 2023

Office of the Provost
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan | FY 2024

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. It is central to our mission as an educational institution to ensure that each member of our community has full opportunity to thrive in our environment, for we believe that diversity is key to individual flourishing, educational excellence and the advancement of knowledge.”

We must act with deliberateness and humility as we seek to respect and leverage diversity, ensure equity, and promote inclusion. We must examine and learn from the outcomes of our past efforts and work to improve them. We must act on our commitment, in accordance with the law, to contribute to a just society and to affirm the humanity of all persons.”

– Excerpt from the Presidential Charge to the University of Michigan Community

Goals [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion]:

DiversityWe 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 and budget across the Ann Arbor campus.

Our mission is to advance and celebrate academic excellence, integrity, interdisciplinarity, and diversity through alignment of partnerships, policies and resources.

Our vision is to be the epicenter of support for our academic enterprise and an equitable, inclusive culture at the University of Michigan.

The work of the Office of the Provost affects faculty, students, and the staff at the University. The vice provostial areas indicate the breadth of responsibilities handled by the staff in the Office of the Provost: Academic and Budgetary Affairs; Academic and Faculty Affairs; Academic Affairs-Graduate Studies; Academic Innovation; Biosciences Initiative; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Engaged Learning; and Enrollment Management. Each of these areas offers opportunities for engagement and integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Key Strategies & Constituencies:
The Office of the Provost staff members are the sole constituency of this plan. Except where otherwise specified, this plan pertains to all Office of the Provost staff (which is currently described as those who attend the provost staff meetings). Our DEI team, supported by senior leadership, has identified a prioritized listing of strategic objectives to further university-wide goals for DEI. These have been aggregated into the three distal objectives determined by the university. Each of these strategic objectives is accompanied by measurable metrics that will be tracked over time, as well as a description of actions the Office of the Provost will take to accomplish those objectives.

All strategic objectives and related actions will be pursued in accordance with the law and University policy.

Planning Process Used

Planning Lead(s): 
Kimberly Brown, Executive Assistant
Mikalia Dennis, Program Manager
Tyne Lucas, Senior DEI Program Manager

Planning team:
Kimberly Brown, Executive Assistant
Mikalia Dennis, Program Manager
Erin Fluharty, Chief of Staff
Crystal Flynn, Executive Assistant
Christine Gerdes, Special Counsel to the Provost
Tyne Lucas, Senior DEI Program Manager
Laurie McCauley, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Planning Process Summary:
The planning process for DEI 2.0 involved engaging our staff at multiple touchpoints through various data collection methods. These methods included analyzing institutional data, gathering staff input at a DEI-focused retreat, interviews, surveys, and other engagement activities. The sources of data used in the planning process included the 2021 Climate Survey data, DEI Metrics reports, DEI 1.0 Evaluation, Office of the Provost all-staff meetings, engagement with the provost, vice provosts, and special counsel (collectively referred to as “6+1”), and DEI ALIVE anecdotal feedback.

The process used to analyze the data involved the DEI Leads partnering with unit leadership to review data findings from the various sources. A summary report was developed for dissemination to all staff during a DEI retreat held in October 2022. The executive summary report provided an overview of the Climate Survey and DEI 1.0 Evaluation summary data.

Idea generation activities included group discussions to process the summary of information, and brainstorming to identify priorities, which was a collaborative effort to develop DEI 2.0 strategic objectives and related action items. The leadership team was then provided synthesized data from the DEI retreat, which seeded a conversation to get their input on the development of strategic objectives. We compiled the retreat information and leadership feedback to inform our draft strategic objectives and action items. These were shared at our May 2023 all-staff meeting for final input and feedback. The overall approach was to develop a collaborative plan that involved the entire organization rather than just the DEI Leads and leadership team.

Data and Analysis: Key Findings

Summary of Data:
The following information is a list of the sources of data used in our planning process:

  • October 2022 DEI Retreat
  • 2021 Climate Survey Report
  • DEI Metrics Reports
  • DEI 1.0 Evaluation Report
  • Office of the Provost all-staff meetings
  • Engagement with Provost, Vice Provosts and Special Counsel (6+1)
  • DEI ALIVE anecdotal feedback

Key Findings, Themes and Recommendations:
As part of our DEI 2.0 planning process, we synthesized feedback and data informed by staff who attended our DEI Retreat in October of 2022. We then shared this information and related questions with 6+1 members to gain their insights on how we might address the themes that surfaced. Below is a summary of our discussion.

EQUITY: Staff would like assurance that there is equity in compensation, workload and opportunities for advancement.

Q to Leadership: What steps can we take to address equity concerns within our office

  • Making clear what personnel are included in the Office of the Provost and their role in our collective mission.
  • Job classifications being more clearly defined and equitably distributed.

RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND DEVELOPMENT OF STAFF: Several staff have the perception that we have a homogenous office, with minimal opportunity for growth.

Q to Leadership: What can we do (re: hiring, retention, and development processes) to help optimize staff performance and experiences within our office?

  • More intentional conversations between supervisors and their staff on what career advancement or trajectory may look like.
  • Connecting the performance review process to staff growth and professional development.
  • Involving our staff in recruiting practices (e.g., share all open job positions within our office, with current staff, who may want to share
    more broadly with their networks or apply).
  • Clear process for how to access professional development opportunities with encouragement from supervisors.
  • Given the unique challenges of having a small office, once various opportunities are engaged and it’s decided that there is limited growth, individuals may have to seek opportunities outside of the Office of the Provost.

DEI INTEGRATION: Several staff have expressed that DEI still seems ‘supplemental’.

Q to Leadership: In what ways can this team drive the collective and strategic integration of DEI into our everyday operations?

  • Learning more about the work happening across all Vice Provost (VP) areas, and how we function as a collective.
  • Thinking of DEI as part of our “fabric” as an office, as we connect the knowledge gained back to our day-to-day job responsibilities.
  • Educating our staff on how to demonstrate our individual commitments to DEI.

Strategic Objectives, Measures of Success and Action Plans*

The Office of the Provost plan covers employees in the Office of the Provost; this includes staff as well as faculty with academic administrative appointments. In all of its activities, the Office of the Provost works to support faculty, staff and students across the institution. The strategic objectives needed to further the university-wide goals of diversity, equity and inclusion have been aggregated into three distal objectives determined by the University. Each of these strategic objectives is accompanied by metrics that will be tracked over time, as well as descriptions of single-year actions we will take to accomplish those objectives. For additional detail on assignments, timelines and accountabilities, see the Action Planning Table (page 10).

*All strategic objectives and related actions will be pursued in accordance with the law and University policy.

PEOPLE (Recruit, Retain, & Develop a Diverse Community)

Strategies and action items for People are designed to bolster and extend the work of all units by introducing effective programs and procedures aimed at recruiting, retaining, and supporting a diverse campus community. DEI-related recruitment and retention efforts across campus reflect the varied needs and goals of specific units and groups.

Strategic Objective 1:
Expand and implement policies, strategies and procedures to recruit, retain, and develop a broadly diverse staff

Constituency: Staff


  • Number of new hires to support HR and recruitment efforts
  • Changing demographics of office makeup
  • Tracking turnover rates at every job level
  • Completion rates for the Unconscious Bias in Hiring training
  • All staff members have access to education and training about conflict resolution


  • Hire additional staff to support HR and recruitment efforts
  • Ensure current Provost’s Office policies and procedures related to recruitment, retention, and professional development are consistent, equitable, transparent, and made available to staff, through a shared digital space.
  • Communicate all open positions in the Office of the Provost to current staff
  • Require all staff members who participate in interviews as part of the hiring process to complete Unconscious Bias in Hiring training (annually)
  • Devote a staff meeting to discuss our current inclusive hiring practices, including our work with Talent Acquisition, to educate the office and seek suggestions for further enhancements
  • Provide all staff (including new hires during onboarding) with updated information about U-M mechanisms to raise concerns, as well as resources available to assist in conflict resolution

Primary DEI Goal:

Strategic Objective 2:
Create systematic structures to provide opportunities for staff recognition and growth

Constituency: Staff


  • Number and impact of recognition program(s) put into place
  • Satisfaction Survey on new recognition efforts and opportunities for development and growth (long-term outcome)


  • Create and implement additional processes (beyond merit) to recognize/reward staff performance.
  • Set an expectation of development training for all supervisors to engage in conversations with their staff about career development (e.g., Foundations of Leadership Course – OL; coach and develop talent, foster and promote diverse teams, importance of clear communication).
  • Hiring supervisors, in consultation with Senior HR Advisor, will match new staff with mentors; successful mentoring will require active engagement by a number of Office of the Provost staff.
  • Adopt and communicate a clearly defined policy on staff professional development opportunities (e.g. release time, budget, travel requirements) for internal and external offerings.
  • Share professional development resources (e.g. links) with staff through a shared digital space.
  • Benchmarking work to see what other units are doing to recognize and reward staff in order to stay on the cutting edge of staff support.
  • Explore opportunities for communities of practice for project management, event planning, and other skills.

Primary DEI Goal: Equity

PROCESS (Create an Equitable and Inclusive Campus Climate)

Strategies and action items for Process are designed to support and strengthen the development of policies, procedures, and practices that create an inclusive and equitable campus climate and encourage a culture of belonging in which every member of our community can grow and thrive.

Strategic Objective 1:
Build DEI integration (i.e., incorporation of DEI principles into Office work) within each VP area through leadership guidance and support for staff.


  • Track and summarize individual and team highlights of DEI integration. We might consider an early year-one “report or summary” so that we have a baseline from which to compare


  • Add a question to the annual performance evaluation to more broadly assess DEI integration, by all levels of staff.
  • Provide a DEI resource guide for all staff in the Office of the Provost that includes definitions and examples of what DEI integration looks like as it relates to our day-to-day operations.
  • Provide a recurring segment at staff meetings for individuals/teams to highlight how they have incorporated DEI principles into their routine work efforts.
  • Provide a workshop for incorporating DEI objectives into annual professional development goals as well as routine work.
  • DEI Leads meet with 6+1 members twice per academic year to gauge progress on the Office of the Provost DEI objectives, with attention given to areas with stalled progress.

Primary DEI Goal: Inclusion

Strategic Objective 2:

Create more engagement opportunities that foster connection, collaboration, and DEI skill-building.

Constituency: Staff


  • Track number of engagement opportunities hosted and participation rates
  • Conducting evaluation of engagement opportunities (qualitative and quantitative)


  • Provide annual formal training (e.g. OrgLearning or external consultant to build a customizable training session on how to engage with DEI when it’s not your main role).
  • Continue monthly DEI ALIVE sessions.
  • Expand Lunch & Learn opportunities by holding them once per semester and broadening the pool of potential presenters to all staff members.
  • Offer more robust DEI skill-building opportunities for all staff.
  • Small groups, with support from the Office of the Provost DEI Leads, will share responsibility for planning DEI engagement opportunities on a rotating basis.
  • Create an equitable and holistic onboarding process (matching new staff with mentors, provide DEI Plan, 6 month new-hire check-ins w/ supervisor, senior HR advisor, etc.) that assures staff are informed and engaged, to foster a greater sense of belonging.

Primary DEI Goal: Inclusion


Strategic Objective 3:
Develop and implement new mechanisms to assure workload and pay equity across all VP areas in the Office of the Provost.

Constituency: Staff


  • Collect and review feedback from staff in the Office of the Provost regarding perceptions of salary and pay equity (short-term outcome)
  • Review future Climate Survey data regarding workload and pay equity and compare to 2021 Climate Survey data (long-term outcome)


  • Update all Office of the Provost job descriptions and compile them in a manner that is accessible to the office.
  • Review, update (as needed), and disseminate the Office of the Provost compensation philosophy.

Primary DEI Goal: Equity

PRODUCTS (Support Innovative and Inclusive Teaching, Research, and Service)

Strategies and action items for Products are designed to integrate DEI solutions into our educational program offerings and teaching methodology, and to ensure scholarly research on diversity, equity and inclusion, and the scholars who produce it, are valued and supported.

Strategic Objective 1:
Support Student Success Initiative, which seeks to reduce time to degree and increase graduation rates for all students, regardless of background.

Constituency: Students


  • Metrics based on recommendations adopted from the working group


  • Engagement session with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs – Graduate Studies (and/or the relevant individuals leading the student success initiative) to develop awareness for the Office of the Provost Staff on the Student Success Initiative.
  • Review and share the working groups’ recommendations with staff in the Office of the Provost during an all-staff meeting.

Primary DEI Goal: Equity


Strategic Objective 2:
Support recruitment and retention of broadly diverse faculty through Provostial programs and initiatives

Constituency: Faculty


  • Faculty demographic data for new hires and retention rates as a direct result of related programs and initiatives (long term outcome)


  • Engage with VPs for Academic and Faculty Affairs (and/or relevant individuals) to develop awareness for the Office of the Provost staff on the provostial programs and initiatives currently in place.

Primary DEI Goal: Diversity

Goal-related Metrics – Office of the Provost Measures Tracked Over Time

Office of the Provost Metrics:

Below is the listing of demographic composition metrics and climate survey indicators the Office of the Provost will track annually and across the five years of the plan:

Demographic Composition 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 the work unit
  • Feeling valued in work unit
  • Feeling of belongingness in work unit
  • Assessment of work unit commitment to DEI
  • 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

Plans for Supporting, Tracking, and Updating the Strategic Plan

The Office of the Provost Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan will be supported by Kimberly Brown, Mikalia Dennis, and Tyne Lucas, as the key contacts for stewardship of the plan. They will be assisted by the special counsel to the provost, and the chief of staff & senior human resource advisor, in tracking and supporting the plan implementation.

These individuals will conduct an annual review of the plan and gather feedback and additional ideas to be implemented throughout the year. They will continue to engage progress with staff and the Office of the Provost Leadership throughout the five-year implementation period of DEI 2.0.