Since its founding in 2005, the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) has symbolized a scholarly commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in higher education and, by extension, society. The early 2000s saw challenges to the University of Michigan (U-M)’s long-standing practice of Affirmative Action in its admissions process. After the passage of Proposal 2 effectively outlawed the use of Affirmative Action, U-M established the NCID in order to affirm its commitment to DE&I. 13 years later, the NCID continues to advance its original charge via the production, catalyzation, and elevation of diversity research and scholarship. In this pursuit, we also build intergenerational communities of scholars and leaders to promote and apply these evidence-based approaches in addressing contemporary issues in a diverse society.
There is no denying that social inequalities exist that serve as barriers to full opportunity and inclusion for all. These inequalities occur at both the macro level, reflected by institutional structures, policies, practices, and norms; and at the micro level, reflected by persistent intergroup divisions, as well as interpersonal discrimination and microaggressions. Among other systemic issues of access and equity in our society, black people face a disproportionate amount of police violence, simply being Latinx is a social determinant of health in the context of immigration enforcement, gender and racial barriers to success in STEM persist, and faculty of color remain underrepresented in academia. At the same time that these measurable and well-documented issues exist, we’re experiencing a societal climate that often discourages critical analysis and attention to scholarly evidence as a basis of decision making and action.
One current challenge involves encouraging and supporting societal citizens and stakeholders in recognizing the added value of rigorous scholarship, because this type of evidence helps us understand — and as importantly address and improve — issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. And, it is equally important that we continue to elevate, disseminate, and support the development of diversity research and scholarship, which represents the core of our center’s mission, priorities, and activities.
At the NCID, we work to achieve our mission through developing and engaging with local and global networks. Within our local community, we work to effectively leverage the vast and deep diversity expertise on the U-M campus, by connecting U-M scholars across disciplines and units in ways that can help advance their scholarly goals, promote innovative, interdisciplinary connections and collaborations, as well as support their professional and personal identities as scholars. On a global level, we foster interdisciplinary multi-institutional communities of scholars, and bring scholars to U-M to bridge exemplary scholarship with multilevel campus-wide engagement and innovation.
I invite you to explore different ways you might engage with us that add value to your scholarly or professional goals, regardless of your U-M affiliation. For regular updates on our activities, please subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media.
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Tabbye M. Chavous, PhD
Director, National Center for Institutional Diversity
Co-Director and Co-Principal Investigator, Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context
Professor of Education and Psychology, University of Michigan