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Planning Process

2015

January - February

Dean Andrew Martin reports to the LSA Dean’s Cabinet that “Rob Sellers presented a proposal to undertake a University-wide and school-level strategic planning process surrounding diversity,” at the January APG meeting. The process and target dates will be revised and refined over the next several months, but the date to publicly release the new U-M strategic plan is set for September 2016.

The Division of Undergraduate Education begins to refine and further develop its approach to “LSA Inclusive Classrooms” across the curriculum—first presented at the bimonthly chairs and directors session “#BBUM & Beyond: Recruiting, Supporting, Retaining a Diverse Undergraduate Population.”

February – April

LSA learns more about the process and its adaptation for LSA, and begins to make decisions about the College’s approach and priorities.

Faculty hiring and retention, the Comprehensive Studies Program, and the review of the Race and Ethnicity (R&E) Degree Requirement are identified as key pillars.

May – August

LSA holds second Faculty Institute on Diversity and Climate and fourth CRLT-IGR Faculty Dialogue Institute on incorporating dialogic pedagogy in the classroom. A special public session is held at the Diversity and Climate Institute to discuss implications of the University’s strategic planning process and LSA priorities.

Dean Martin appoints an Ad Hoc Faculty Diversity Task Force comprised of faculty from all three LSA divisions to develop an analysis of the obstacles to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, to generate possible solutions to this challenge, and to identify metrics for success.

LSA seeks clarification on the University-wide Diversity Census process and begins to design an LSA-specific method to collect the data requested by Rob Sellers, the Vice President for Equity, Inclusion, and Academic Affairs.

Further decisions are made on College-wide priorities for the LSA plan, and conversations begin on non-incremental measures and mechanisms.

The LSA Diversity Census begins with a tool designed by the College to be used by all chairs and directors, who are asked to respond by September 1.

The Preparatory Committee for the R&E Degree Requirement Review submits its report, with research and data collection appendices.

The LSA Teaching Academy incorporates new materials and a more forceful articulation of diversity and climate issues, with a focus on inclusive classroom pedagogies as test case and pilot for possible campus-wide approaches. Released draft strategic plan for review by LSA community; shared via email and web posting with all LSA faculty, staff, and students.

September

President’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Launch on September 9.

LSA completes the Diversity Census on September 15 with 100 percent participation from units.

Several LSA faculty begin to look at plans from other universities, especially the University of California, Berkeley. (Throughout the academic year, several universities will announce new diversity plans and initiatives.)

The R&E Degree Requirement Review Committee is formally appointed and charged by Dean Martin. Dean Martin charges Human Resources Director Patrick Smitowski with development of DEI strategies for staff.

October

The R&E Review Committee holds its initial meeting and creates subgroups, meets with the LSA Curriculum Committee, and begins holding consultation meetings with faculty groups (e.g., Anthropology 101 instructors).

Associate Dean and DEI planning lead Elizabeth Cole presents an overview of the LSA planning process to all unit chairs, directors, and chief administrators at their bimonthly meeting.

Student protests on campuses across the country begin and will shape the thinking of the R&E Review Committee in direct and indirect ways.

The LSA human resources director drafts a matrix of potential staff diversity initiatives in consultation with the dean and his chief of staff.

Members of the Ad Hoc Faculty Diversity Task Force meet with chairs and directors from the three LSA divisions to discuss barriers to and effective strategies for recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty.

November

President/Provost offices host series of DEI related events.

The Staff Committee Report on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is released.

Two student forums are held on the R&E requirement, one hosted by Central Student Government, the other by LSA Student Government.

The R&E Review Committee holds additional meetings with faculty groups on “Global R&E,” with IGR faculty and staff, and faculty in the Natural Sciences.

LSA Student Government includes a “ballot question” to gauge student familiarity with the wording of the R&E requirement. 

December

The LSA DEI drafting team begins to consider a template created by the Office of the Vice President for Equity, Inclusion, and Academic Affairs as a mechanism for coordinating data gathering across sections.

A December 9 panel (“History and Politics of Diversity: Mandates, Lawsuits, Strategies”) organized by faculty in history and English signals the level of frustration among at least part of the faculty with the planning process. On the same day, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas.

A meeting is held for faculty liaisons for Faculty Professional Development Program on Inclusive Teaching.

CRLT begins focus group work with U-M and LSA faculty.

The R&E Review Committee arranges to have five newly designed questions added to teaching evaluation forms for the fall 2015 R&E courses, and selects six courses for embedded assessment for winter 2016.

The CSP Faculty Advisory Committee is formally appointed and charged.

The LSA human resources director presents a matrix of potential staff diversity initiatives to the LSA Senior Management Team and the Dean’s Cabinet for comment.

LSA administrators meet with Rackham leadership to discuss how to coordinate DEI efforts in graduate education.

The LSA Dean’s Cabinet Retreat reviews draft sections and components of what will become the College DEI plan. Discussions focus on faculty hiring and retention, and on climate issues. Decisions are made about the importance of acknowledging and honoring difficult histories around diversity and diversity planning in the past. Undergraduate education materials are presented. Staff diversity plan options are presented and discussed.

2016

January

Dean Martin shapes the LSA DEI plan’s sections and key assumptions. A general outline is created, and a letter of intent overviewing the planning efforts is sent to the vice president for equity, inclusion, and academic affairs on January 11.

Angela Dillard and Patrick Smitowski are officially designated as leads for undergraduate education initiatives and staff diversity, respectively. They join Elizabeth Cole as LSA Lead; Cole continues to oversee work of the Faculty Committee.

The LSA Dean’s Office begins a greater degree of outreach. Dean Martin sends a “welcome back” email to all LSA faculty, staff, and students updating the LSA community on DEI initiatives and announcing the LSA DEI webpage populated with event information, contacts, a timeline, and other updates.

Elizabeth Cole and Paula Hathaway convene an advisory committee of leaders in graduate education across the three divisions to solicit input and provide feedback on proposed collaborative efforts with Rackham.

Dean Martin presents the DEI summary to chairs, directors, and chief administrators at their bimonthly meeting (1/21).

A series of open meetings with faculty interested in LSA’s approach to fostering and maintaining faculty diversity take place. The purpose of these meetings is to hear ideas about practices to improve recruitment, climate and retention, and career advising for faculty representing diverse backgrounds. The meetings are organized to focus on issues concerning different constituencies, but all LSA faculty members are welcome to attend. Additionally, a survey is made available for faculty who are unable to attend the open meetings to share their views.

Faculty are also engaged through a series of meetings and conversations with the R&E Degree Requirement Review Committee, and through a “reunion” meeting of faculty participants in the LSA May Institute on Diversity and Climate. A survey mechanism is being prepared to capture additional feedback on principles and plans around LSA Inclusive Classrooms.

The LSA human resources director presents potential staff diversity initiatives to the LSA Administrative Forum, comprised of 300 staff members. The goals for this meeting are to share information about DEI planning related to staff, to receive feedback on potential DEI activities developed via prior discussions with the Dean’s
Cabinet and senior management team, and to solicit input about other DEI opportunities that LSA could explore. The meeting is followed up by an electronic survey seeking feedback on the staff plan presented. Feedback will inform final decisions as to what DEI activities related to staff appear in the final plan. 

February

Directors and associate directors of the 22 units in the Division of Undergraduate Education meet to workshop sections of the plan dealing with Undergraduate Education Initiatives and Climate.

Two mass workshops for LSA students are hosted in the beginning of February as part of the LSA DEI Plan-A-Thon Week. Most of these events are planned in collaboration with LSA students; some are entirely student-led and organized.

All LSA students are invited to submit an idea as part of the Plan-A-Thon. An “idea” is defined broadly—a student can submit a principle, something to avoid and not do, an actual program or piece of proposed policy, a new approach or initiative, etc. Ideas could be submitted in written form (not more than three pages) or via video (not more than five minutes). They could be tweeted using #LSADEI. They could also be sent to lsa-dei-plan@umich.edu.

Members of the Ad Hoc Faculty Diversity Task Force hold meetings to discuss and consolidate recommendations received during the open faculty meetings.

Feedback from faculty, students, and staff is collected and consolidated. LSA DEI leads, members of the Dean’s Cabinet, and the LSA marketing and communications team (DMC) have from February 12 to March 22 (including Winter Break, 2/27–3/4) to produce a final draft of the LSA DEI Plan, roughly 35 calendar days. Given the constraints of this timeline and the size of the College, LSA strongly recommends that public messaging and communication stress that this is a DRAFT plan to be sent to the next level of the University-wide strategic planning process. A target date for public release of the final LSA DEI Plan is set for June or July.

March

The Dean’s Alumni Council Campus Climate Working Group presents its findings on the history of U-M climate, the current state of U-M climate, benchmarking of other universities’ diversity best practices, and the group’s recommendations moving forward. (See appendix F.)

April

Two open “progress update” meetings are held, one with graduate students, and one with LSA student government representatives and undergraduates who contributed ideas to the Plan-A-Thon. 

May

The R&E Review Committee submits its final report to Dean Martin.

The first staff DEI officer is hired, set to begin work in July.

June

The Undergraduate Education Climate Subcommittee for Professional Development holds training on cultural competency at the International Institute for some of their staff. 

Manager training takes place on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

July

PitE, RLL, and the RC sponsor the Spectrum Center LGBTQ Allyhood Development Training Workshop.

August

Released draft strategic plan for review by LSA community; shared via email and web posting with all LSA faculty, staff, and students.

September

Conducted four Community Forums on the draft plans for faculty, staff, graduate student, and undergraduate student initiatives. Presented plan highlights, answered questions, and gathered suggestions via in-person, email, and handwritten feedback. 

October - December

Continued to collect questions and suggestions from LSA community. Revised draft plan to answer questions and revised material in response. 

2017

February

Completed revisions to draft plan based on input from faculty, staff, and students. Shared complete plan with entire LSA community via email and social media announcements. Posted PDF and html versions on LSA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website.