In 2016, the University of Michigan embarked on a broad based planning initiative to envision and seek to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive university community. This work builds on UM’s history of consciously seeking to expand and enhance the teaching, learning and work environment in response to the changing world around us. This new initiative uses an expansive definition of diversity to include not only race and ethnicity but many dimensions such as socio-economic status, gender and gender identity, age, religious affiliation, sexual orientation and (dis)ability status to name a few. It also seeks to go beyond just attracting a diverse pool of students, faculty and staff but to examine our culture to make sure we strengthen and enhance elements that provide equal opportunity for success to all members of our community.
Promoting diversity throughout an institution takes people making a commitment to the work. It demands commitment at all levels throughout the organization over time to begin to make positive change. Thus every school, college and unit was asked to participate in this strategic planning process and to prepare a plan that holds each unit accountable for our collective success in creating a diverse, welcoming, equitable environment that better allows us to achieve our academic, scholarly and public service missions. The Office of the Vice President for Government Relations is committed to promoting diversity and moving forward the principles of equity and inclusion through our work with internal and external communities.