$1.2M grant supports effort to build DEI leadership capacity


The National Center for Institutional Diversity has been awarded $1.2 million over three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The grant is part of the foundation’s postsecondary success strategy that aims to improve outcomes for Black, Latino and Indigenous students, and those from low-income backgrounds, ensuring that race, ethnicity and income are not predictors of postsecondary success. 

“We are excited to have been identified by the foundation as a partner in their postsecondary success strategy given our decades-long national work in integrating evidence-based approaches to address contemporary issues in a diverse society,” said NCID Director Elizabeth R. Cole, professor of psychology and of women’s studies, and the grant’s principal investigator.

“We will draw on the work of scholars in our national Diversity Scholars Network to develop tools and resources to support building leadership capacity.”

This is a follow-up investment from the original grant NCID received from the foundation in fall 2021. Obtained by then-director Tabbye Chavous — currently vice provost and chief diversity officer — the foundation initially gave $300,000 to create an electronic catalog of NCID’s equity-related programming and scholarship.

With support from the foundation, NCID will develop a suite of tools and resources for leadership capacity building. It will be publicly available to faculty and staff working in higher education institutions across the country.

The grant also will support the development and launch of a digital platform offering free and accessible content with self-guided experiences for higher education leaders. Content will be grounded in NCID’s leadership model that focuses on constructing a critical consciousness, navigating social and political contexts, and utilizing diversity research.

“This grant is an acknowledgement of the important leadership role that the National Center for Institutional Diversity and the University of Michigan has played locally and nationally when it comes to leading and informing institutional transformation initiatives,” Chavous said. “I am looking forward to partnering with NCID in their efforts to support national and local leadership capacity building initiatives.”


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