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Transforming Campus Climate


The emphasis of this priority area is to inform institutions around campus climates issues in ways that increase their diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments and that equip and empower institutions to take action steps (policies, practices, interventions) that will positively transform their campus climates. Efforts and initiatives include:

Speech and Inclusion Series

The "2018 Speech and Inclusion: Recognizing Conflict and Building Tools for Engagement" series invited students, faculty and staff to openly discuss, listen, and engage with differing views on free speech and to advocate for voices that have historically been silenced — important issues that continue to challenge both our campus and the nation.

The NCID collaborated in the conceptualization and production of teach-outs on free speech on campus, in journalism, and in sports; a teach-in, Reclaiming Our Campus, which explored how the U-M campus can mobilize, engage in activism, and discuss the role of white supremacy and speech; and a regional convening on campus inclusion and free expression:

Campus Inclusion and Free Expression Regional Convening

The NCID contributed to this timely conversation, building on current collaborative U-M campus efforts on speech and inclusion. In partnership with the U-M's President's Office; the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and American Council on Education's Center for Policy Research, the NCID coordinated a regional convening in April 2018 of college, university, and system presidents and chancellors who will speak to their role and the intersection of free expression and inclusive campus communities. The aim was to develop models to inform campus leaders nationally. 

The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Campus Climate and Mental Health

This project launches a new research collaboration focused on college student mental health, well-being, and success. The research explores how students' campus climate experiences are associated with their mental health outcomes, especially among students of color and students from immigrant families. The data collection will involve students from the University of Michigan and a variety of higher education institutions nationwide. Primary goals are to gain a better understanding of how students of color from various backgrounds are faring in terms of mental health (depression, anxiety, and other common issues), how mental health outcomes relate to factors such as sense of belonging and experiences of discrimination and microaggressions in campus communities, and how we can develop practices to create and support positive climates for all students. 

The project is led by the U-M Healthy Minds Network (P.I. Daniel Eisenberg, Professor of Public Health, University of Michigan), in collaboration with NCID and Robert Sellers (Professor of Psychology and Education, Vice Provost of Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, University of Michigan). The project is funded through the University of Michigan M-Cubed Program and the Healthy Minds Network.

Understanding the Relationship between Campus Climate and STEM Success

This collaborative effort with the American Council on Education's Center for Policy Research and Strategy aims to bridge the conversations about campus climate and efforts to increase diversity and equity in STEM. By understanding how campus climate and STEM department climate influence students' experiences, we hope to bring to light the critical role of institutional and faculty leaders in creating environments that are welcoming and inclusive. We are pleased to be assisted in the planning of this initiative by Jeffrey Milem, professor and dean of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Kimberly Griffin, associate professor in Student Affairs (University of Maryland).

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