The University of Michigan is dedicated to cultivating a campus community that fosters constructive participation in a diverse, multicultural world. Our efforts build on a long history of supporting initiatives that foster an inclusive living, learning and working environment.
In 2016, U-M announced a university-wide strategic plan for building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus community. As a part of this initiative, the College of Engineering developed a five-year strategic plan in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI); this plan is a priority as we strive to create an innovative and inclusive community.
Now in the third year of this DEI strategic plan, we are working to increase the transparency and participation by students, faculty and staff. An important step toward reaching this goal is to develop a strong understanding of the community’s perspectives and experiences related to diversity, equity and inclusion on the campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The U-M Student Campus Climate Survey on DEI explored the student perspective and experience related to these topics.
The results are now available and we want to use the data in many ways: as a baseline for understanding the present climate at U-M and in the College; to help inform current and future planning about supporting a diverse, inclusive and vibrant campus community; and as a benchmark against which to measure change over time. The surveys asked a range of questions about demographics, perceptions of the campus climate and the DEI climate, interactions with other members of the U-M community and experiences of discrimination at U-M.
Alec Gallimore, Robert J Vlasic Dean of Engineering, Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Richard F and Eleanor A Towner Professor of Engineering and Professor of Aerospace Engineering, speaks at EnginTalks in the Duderstadt Center on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on March 20, 2019. Photo: Joseph Xu/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing At the EnginTalks, students discussed the recent results of the DEI Climate Survey released by the College of Engineering. Photo: Joseph Xu/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing At the EnginTalks, students discussed the recent results of the DEI Climate Survey released by the College of Engineering. Photo: Joseph Xu/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing At the EnginTalks, students discussed the recent results of the DEI Climate Survey released by the College of Engineering. Photo: Joseph Xu/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing
According to President Mark Schlissel, “The purpose of doing these surveys was to get an honest and rigorous assessment of our campus climate. That honesty is critical to our ability to understand and to improve our campus environment.”
Right now, our priority is to share the results of the survey within the College. Although less than a quarter of the College’s students participated in the survey, we think the results can provide a platform of open discussions on the climate and culture in Engineering.
Recently, the College’s Student DEI Advisory Board held a forum to discuss the survey: how it was done, what it tells us and, most importantly, how students feel about today’s College climate and culture… and what it should be. The students that attended helped us better understand their perspectives, and how to get everyone involved in moving us toward our College vision and mission.
This is just the beginning of our discussions on climate. We expect to have additional forums in the future that incorporate the voices of our entire community. We always welcome your feedback and comments, either on the survey results or the overall DEI Strategic Plan. Please review the information and note any items of particular interest or significance by sharing them through our feedback form.