From Kevin’s Desk: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (11/10/17)

Dear Colleagues,

Happy Friday!

I hope you all had the opportunity to attend one of the terrific events that happened this week as part of the Diversity Summit! At the Community Assembly yesterday, Chief Diversity Officer Rob Sellers presented a progress report about the first year of implementation of the U-M DEI Strategic Plan. It’s amazing to see all the work happening across campus.

I am personally so proud of the leadership role this university has taken and all the efforts underway to make our campus more diverse, equitable and inclusive. I am also extremely proud of the work we’ve done, and continue to do, to make progress on these issues here in B&F. Please take a moment to read through our DEI Year One Highlights summary. Here are just a few examples of what we’ve done over the last year:

  • Assessed B&F use of the tuition support program
  • Implemented DEI statement in all B&F job postings
  • Offered Unconscious Bias and Bystander Awareness training to 200 B&F managers and staff
  • Reached 1,900 participants in more than 35 DEI events across every unit
  • Encouraged staff reporting on accessibility and inclusion
  • Added DEI criteria on all performance evaluations for supervisors and managers

We’ve also updated the plan for year two with lessons learned and new action items that address communications, leadership access, and DEI-related education. You can see a summary of the plan or read the full strategic plan on our website.

At our B&F Leadership Forum yesterday, more than 150 B&F leaders discussed the connection between DEI and our desire to create a more positive organizational culture. In my view, you cannot have one without the other. Laurita Thomas describes DEI using a simple metaphor, which I love: diversity is that everyone gets invited to the party; equity is that everyone has the chance to dance, and inclusion is that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the playlist.  At its foundation, DEI is about believing in the notion that all people matter, including those whose voices have not always been heard. I want every single person in B&F to know that they matter and I want them to have the opportunity to make a difference. We’re not there yet, but I believe it’s possible to create this kind of culture for all of us.

Last, but not least, tomorrow is Veteran’s Day, and I want to once again give a huge thank you to all of our B&F veterans. I know many folks were unable to open the photo of my father during his service in World War II that I shared last week, so we’ve posted it on our website.

Thanks for all you do to make this university great.

With much appreciation and gratitude,


P.S.: Please post for staff who don’t have regular access to email