Our dedication to engineering for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). When the University of Michigan launched its five-year strategic plan in 2016, each school and college was charged with developing its own strategic approach to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). During the first five years (2016-2021) of U-M’s DEI Strategic Planning and Implementation Process, better known as DEI 1.0, Michigan Engineering responded to the need to cultivate and maintain a diverse community and a climate of inclusion where all members are treated equitably.
As a result, we adopted an equity-centered approach that aims to enable all engineers to have a positive impact on the world and build a future that will elevate all people. Known as people-first engineering, the framework consists of three pillars: excellent engineering fundamentals, the convergence of disciplines and equity-centered values and global worldviews. Our people-first framework complements and makes actionable Michigan Engineering’s mission, vision and values.
As Michigan Engineering enters the next DEI Strategic Planning phase, DEI 2.0 (2023-2028), we strive to incorporate lessons learned from the past five years. We have realized significant gains in some areas and modest gains in others. We have more work to do in order to create and maintain a climate where every member of our community feels valued. The work of DEI is never done; it is work that evolves, not concludes. As such, we have refined our approach to build upon our success and continually improve our strategies to recruit, retain and develop a diverse community across all our constituencies, foster a more equitable and inclusive campus climate, and support innovative and inclusive activities in our core missions of teaching, research and service.
Each five-year strategic plan includes one additional year of evaluation and assessment.
Defining Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
We use the following University of Michigan definitions and commitments regarding diversity, equity and inclusion in our work.
Diversity – We commit to increasing diversity, which is expressed in myriad forms, including race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status and political perspective.
Equity – We commit to working actively to challenge and respond to bias, harassment and discrimination. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight or veteran status.
Inclusion – We commit to pursuing deliberate efforts to ensure that our campus is a place where differences are welcomed, different perspectives are respectfully heard and where every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We know that by building a critical mass of diverse groups on campus and creating a vibrant climate of inclusiveness, we can more effectively leverage the resources of diversity to advance our collective capabilities.