University earns HEED Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity


As the University of Michigan enters the fourth year of its five-year strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion, it has been honored with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

The national honor recognizes universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. U-M will be featured along with 93 other recipients in the November 2019 issue.

“The HEED Award is an incredible honor for our university,” said Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer.

“I’m extremely proud of the progress we’ve made in becoming a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community, and it is a true reflection of the commitment and hard work from U-M students, staff and faculty.”

Sellers will highlight several important milestones the university has achieved over the past year and will discuss what university leadership has learned from student, faculty and staff feedback at 1 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Michigan League. The event is open to the campus community.

“We continue to make progress in transforming the university into a place where everyone has an equitable opportunity to succeed and contribute,” said Katrina Wade-Golden, deputy chief diversity officer and director of implementation for the campuswide DEI strategic plan.

“These changes can be seen and felt throughout our campus, as programs, practices and initiatives continue to reflect our values in making Michigan a more diverse, equitable and inclusive university.”

Some of the university’s key accomplishments helped form the basis for the HEED Award.

According to U-M’s Year-Three Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan Progress Report, efforts in the past year included 37 campus-level initiatives and more than 2,400 actions among 50 different department- and unit-level DEI strategic plans.

Among them:

  • The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching made DEI an ongoing focus of its Teaching Academy programs for faculty in 10 schools and colleges, and offered 35 customized workshops and retreats.
  • The LSA Collegiate Fellows program helped launch the careers of DEI-focused scholars. The initiative aims to recruit and retain 50 exceptional early-career scholars in all liberal arts fields who have demonstrated a sustained commitment, broadly defined to building an inclusive and diverse intellectual community. Now in its third year, the program welcomed eight new scholars, and members of the first and second cohort began to move into tenure-track positions this fall.
  • Thanks to U-M’s Go Blue Guarantee and increases in financial aid, more than a quarter of in-state undergraduates pay no tuition — adding to the socioeconomic diversity of U-M’s student body. During winter 2018, 1,687 current students were identified as being eligible for the Go Blue Guarantee, and collectively received more than $11 million in institutional support for that term.
  • New options for university health services also were announced in 2019, paving the way for transgender U-M health plan members to receive expanded coverage for additional medical procedures. The new U-M coverage went into effect July 1.
  • In May, the university provided faculty and staff with educational resources to help prevent sexual misconduct. The resources included a mandatory training module on sexual and gender-based misconduct. University leaders said the training was the first step in a multilayered approach to cultural change.
  • On April 11, the new Trotter Multicultural Center on South State Street opened. Coming out of the activism of student protest, construction of the new center represented an inclusive, strategic planning process that included significant input from U-M community stakeholders.
  • The university appointed its first staff ombuds this year. The role provides university staff members with a wide variety of services, including impartial conflict resolution, information and referrals. The staff ombuds will also serve as a liaison between individuals and university administration and make recommendations for systemic change.

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