Anti-Racism Brave Space Dialogue Series

During this yearlong series, the UL Director of Organizational Development held monthly discussions with senior-level library employees on key topics associated with becoming an anti-racist organization. These sessions addressed subjects such as the invention of race, white supremacy, white fragility, white supremacy culture and being in solidarity. After half an hour of content sharing, the virtual “room” was split into small discussion groups led by a facilitator. In addition, monthly Zoom meetings were held for the entire library community, with a focus on developing anti-racism skills. Over the course of the year, the program engaged more than 160 of the library’s professional employees, representing roughly 40% of the overall employee base. Post-session surveys indicate that in each of 10 sessions, more than 90% of attendees reported increased levels of understanding along with an increased ability and willingness to apply that understanding in their work sites.

Unit: University Library

A grid of faces of people who are LSA Collegiate Fellows

LSA Collegiate Fellows Program

LSA’s faculty initiatives include its Collegiate Fellows program, which aims to recruit and retain 50 exceptional early-career scholars in all liberal arts fields with a sustained commitment to building an inclusive and diverse intellectual community. Since 2017, the college has successfully recruited 47 Collegiate Fellows (from a total of 3,974 applications) to 26 different departments in all three LSA divisions of Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. All selected Fellows are evaluated for tenure-track positions in LSA departments. To date, a total of 46 Fellows have entered or will enter the tenure track based on accepted offers (a 98% transition success rate). To complement Fellows’ departmental mentoring plans, the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) continues to provide professional development offerings to support successful pathways to tenure for early-career scholars with DEI commitments, create a sense of community within and across cohorts, build professional networks and connect Fellows with relevant U-M resources.

Unit: College of Literature, Science, & the Arts (LSA)

Two students pose for a photo in front of a Kessler Scholars photo wall

The Kessler Scholars Program for First-Generation, Low-Income Students

Kessler Presidential Scholars (KSP) is a cohort-based wraparound and scholarship support program designed to increase the retention, sense of belonging and graduation rate of first-generation, limited-income students. Overall, these students are more diverse, with over two-thirds of the Kessler Scholars identifying as students of color, and come from lower-earning households than their continuing generation peers.

In the spring of 2021, the first 35-student cohort to join the Kessler Scholars under this program design attained a four-year graduation rate of 83%—eight percentage points higher than their first-generation peers who entered LSA at the same time, and virtually the same rate as their continuing-generation peers. By the spring of 2022, the completion rate for that same cohort had reached 94% after five years of tracking. Additionally, in 2021, the donor family endowed the program so that student success will be the focus for this student population in perpetuity.

Unit: College of Literature, Science, & the Arts (LSA)

Two Engineering students graduating with their baby between them

Creating a Community of Supporters for Student Parents and Caregivers

In 2019, CEW+ worked with partners across all schools and colleges to develop an inclusive model for engaging students, faculty and staff in the challenge of building awareness around the needs and talents of student caregivers. The result of these conversations was the 2019 launch of our Student Parent and Caregiver Initiative. Within a two-year period, the initiative has grown to include three independent but interconnected groups of nearly 200 students, faculty and staff who are focused on awareness-building, advocacy, campus-wide change, resources and direct support. A few notable examples of change include:

  • Broad implementation of a student caregiver syllabus statement
  • Creation of a website outlining campus resources available to student parents and caregivers
  • Recommendations on classroom best practices for nontraditional students, including student caregivers
  • The launch of new resources and support programs such as a preschool pilot, study spaces on campus, and a subsidy for unlicensed childcare

Unit: Center for the Education of Women (CEW+)

Two people shake hands in a courtyard

More Inclusive Talent Acquisition Processes

Addressing bias in the talent acquisition process is crucial to hiring and retaining diverse talent. Business and Finance, which includes University Human Resources (UHR), has updated several talent acquisition processes that benefit not only B&F and its sub-units, but the entire university. These enhanced processes incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of the recruiting and hiring process. In addition, onboarding and orientation programs have been revamped and refreshed to make new employees feel more welcome and informed. The new practices have transformed how we recruit, and our resulting metrics have shown greater diversity in candidate pools and richer interview experiences for both the interviewers and candidates. Enhancements include:

  • A newly formed Talent Acquisition Office in UHR
  • The DataPeople tool (formerly TapRecruit) to analyze job postings for biased language
  • Unconscious Bias Training, which is encouraged for hiring teams
  • Checklists for on-boarding and orientation

The UHR Recruiting and Employment website also provides helpful resources. They can be reached at (For Michigan Medicine hiring needs, contact

Unit: Business & Finance (B&F)

Two people have a conversation in the diag

Faculty Retention Efforts (LAUNCH & RISE Committees)

Exit interviews, climate surveys, focus groups and research by the U-M ADVANCE and others show that climate continues to be a major impediment to faculty experiences, success and ultimately retention, especially for marginalized groups. ADVANCE is addressing this problem through two initiatives:

  • Launch Committees are a mentoring resource provided to new tenure-track assistant professors in a unit (not opt-in), to ensure that all receive the support and guidance they need. Launch committees include the department chair and three senior faculty members who meet monthly with the “launchee” during their first academic year. ADVANCE has launched over 350 faculty (in LSA, CoE, and SI), and collaborated with SMTD, MED, Pharmacy, Kinesiology and Dentistry to launch an additional 120+ during DEI 1.0. Evaluations of the program are extremely positive.
  • The RISE (Respect in Striving for Excellence) Committee consists of senior faculty and staff who develop resources, programming and community-building opportunities focused on increasing respect and inclusion in academic workplace climates. To date, RISE workshops have been attended by over 350 faculty and staff.

For more information, please visit:


A person gives a presentation in front of a colorful mural

Religious, Secular and Spiritual (RSS) and Interfaith Initiatives

The Interfaith Program within Student Life recognizes the critical role that religious, spiritual and secular worldview has in identity exploration, self-expression and scholarship. Through intentional programming, this campuswide initiative seeks to create and support efforts in which students can explore their own RSS identity and make transformative connections with their peers across worldviews. During the initial year of interfaith offerings, Student Life partnered with Interfaith America, and various academic and administrative units to support existing work and develop additional student-facing programs. Outcomes included:

  • Engaging 736 participants across 15 interfaith-focused gatherings
  • Initiated student Interfaith Advisory Board
  • Launching a monthly Interfaith Dialogue Series
  • Developing Religious Literacy Training and a Train the Trainer Program
  • Receiving a $6,000 Innovation Grant to develop virtual interfaith content
  • Supporting 7 listening sessions for faculty/staff related to religious diversity and their experiences on campus
  • Hosting 7 other colleges/universities for an Interfaith Conference focused on religious literacy and skill building for institutions of higher education.

For more information about faith-based and interfaith resources, visit the Interfaith Resource Page.

Unit: Student Life

A large group of people gathers outside on a sunny day for a group photo

UMSI Community College Summer Institute (CCSI)

Community college students often view the University of Michigan as an “out-of-reach” institution for transfer. UMSI sought to change this in 2017, when they launched the first Community College Summer Institute (CCSI) with funding from the Office of the Provost. As the school’s flagship outreach program, the institute creates a low-barrier point of entry for community college students to learn more about UMSI and the University of Michigan. Using a high-touch, participant-centered approach, this three-day event offers intensive exposure to the field of information, support with admissions and professional development, transportation assistance, housing and a travel stipend. Thus far, CCSI has reached 152 community college students, of whom:

  • 33.5% were from historically excluded student populations
  • 32% applied to and/or were admitted to U-M
  • 26% applied to and/or were admitted to UMSI

Since the institute’s inception, UMSI has collaborated and consulted with multiple other campus units in support of expanded community college outreach.

Unit: School of Information (SI)

A man speaks to his group during a group workshop

Anti-Racism Tenure-Track Faculty Hiring Initiative

Since its launch in 2020, the Anti-Racism Tenure-Track Faculty Hiring Initiative has approved funding for 21 faculty positions in six cluster hires across 12 schools and colleges. The initiative has two proactive aims: to use scholarship to illuminate and address critical challenges of equity and anti-racism, and to support retention of current faculty with anti-racist commitments by building a cross-campus scholarly community with expertise in racial inequality and structural racism.

The first individuals hired through the program have joined U-M this 2022-23 academic year, and hiring will continue in 2023-4. The new faculty will expand U-M’s thought leadership across an array of challenges, including equitable health care, technology and racial justice, anti-racist practices in social work and the arts, increasing equity and visibility for indigenous people and environmental racism. Significant support for research development, grants and networking is available for new hires through provost office partnerships with the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID).

Unit: Office of the Provost