The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan continues efforts to break down barriers and transform campus culture with the announcement of LSA DEI 2.0—the college’s latest strategic plan to better support all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff. 

The LSA DEI 2.0 Strategic Plan builds on the college’s first-ever DEI plan that was launched in 2016. Some of the initiatives to come out of that first phase included the launch of the LSA Collegiate Fellows Program, the LSA Laptop Program for undergraduate students, the Anti-Racism Task Force, expansion of graduate student Preview Weekend, faculty and staff Disability Navigators, and Inclusive Culture Liaisons.

For the next five years, the new plan will guide the college’s efforts to increase access in higher education, improve retention among students, faculty, and staff, and support academic and professional success for everyone in the LSA community. 

“LSA is committed to creating an inclusive culture where everyone is supported, heard, and valued,” says Isis Settles, associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion. “The LSA DEI 2.0 Strategic Plan is based on several years of hard work and honest feedback from our community. We’ve turned those ideas into concrete action steps to make lasting, structural changes that give everyone in our community greater support and an increased sense of belonging.” 

The plan was developed based on insights and data from a number of LSA faculty, student, and staff groups over the past three years. These groups include the Anti-Racism Task Force, Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Prevention Working Group, Race & Ethnicity Degree Requirement Work Group, LGBTQ+ Working Group, Work Group on Admissions, and a host of focus groups and surveys. 

“We are excited to announce the LSA DEI 2.0 Strategic Plan,” says Anne Curzan, dean of LSA. “Weaving DEI into the fabric of what we do and who we are as a community is essential to achieving our goals of producing groundbreaking research, providing a world-class liberal arts education, and making a positive impact in our society. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is at the core of LSA’s mission, vision, and values, and I look forward to the next phase of this important work.” 

 

Members of the LSA community receive training at an August 21 DEI workshop. Photo credit: Eric Bronson/Michigan Photography

 

LSA DEI 2.0 coincides with the release of the university’s DEI 2.0 plan, and will be officially presented during an LSA DEI event on November 14. Some key programs and initiatives highlighted in the plan include:

LSA Collegiate Fellows expansion

  • The expansion of the successful Collegiate Fellows program, administered by the National Center for Institutional Diversity, will include the hiring of 32 extraordinary scholars who have a strong commitment to DEI research, teaching, and scholarship. Scholars can be recruited as postdoctoral fellows/assistant professors or new associate professors.

Transfer Bridges to the Humanities@Michigan program expansion

  • The pilot Transfer Bridges to the Humanities program has now been expanded into Transfer Bridges to Michigan, connecting with all 31 community and tribal colleges across the state of Michigan and inviting students into every major. Transfer Bridges provides students a pathway to complete a bachelor’s degree at U-M, even before they become U-M students, along with academic, social, and financial support.

Intend to Attend (I2A)

  • LSA’s newest statewide initiative, Intend to Attend (I2A), is an online college prep platform designed to provide eighth-12th grade students the necessary resources and information to pursue their postsecondary education, including at four-year college/universities, trade schools, and community colleges.

Student Support

  • In addressing some of the biggest issues affecting college students today, LSA is expanding its mental health support as well as support for first-generation college students. 

Staff Support

  • Staff will have additional professional development and mentorship opportunities, as well as DEI-centric training dedicated to inclusive leadership and DEI competencies for all levels of staff.

Accessibility

  • LSA has developed a comprehensive accessibility strategy to create accessible events, learning tools, and more for students, faculty, and staff.

 

To learn more about these and other initiatives, you can read the complete LSA DEI 2.0 Strategic Plan here.

 

Top photo: Austin Thomason/Michigan Photography