Diversity Blueprints: Your Ideas Wanted
November 21, 2006
We know we have a great deal of work to do at the University of Michigan to live up to our ideals of a broadly diverse learning community. This would be true regardless of whether Proposal 2 were approved by Michigan voters. But the passage of the amendment makes this work more urgent, particularly with respect to race, ethnicity, gender and national origin.
Our University thrives on finding solutions to vexing societal issues. This is an historic moment, and an opportunity to apply our collective creative, energetic thinking to discover the most effective ways to support diversity. We will succeed only if we have thoughtful input from everyone in our community.
Today we are announcing the creation of a university-wide task force that will encourage innovative thinking among all segments of the University community and identify the best ideas developed through this process. The task force, called “Diversity Blueprints,” will be co-chaired by Teresa Sullivan, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Lester P. Monts, senior vice provost and special counsel to the president, and will include students, staff, faculty, alumni and administrators.
The group will begin its work immediately. Its first task will be to engage the U-M community in developing fresh, innovative approaches to sustain and enhance diversity. Through e-mail, a website, brainstorming sessions and other means we will encourage alumni, faculty, staff, students, and others to consider the question, “How can we maintain and enhance diversity at U-M in the years ahead?” Areas for specific input include recruiting, precollege/K-12 outreach, admissions, financial aid, mentoring/student success, climate, curriculum/classroom discussions, diversity research and assessment, and external funding opportunities.
The ideas submitted may range from general insights to detailed plans. In the true spirit of brainstorming, all ideas will be considered regardless of how ambitious or unconventional they may seem. We will commit significant resources to some of the best and most promising recommendations that the Diversity Blueprints task force brings forward.
You may share your ideas by writing to Diversity.Blueprints@umich.edu. More details will be coming soon about members of the task force and other ways you can get involved in this work, such as by attending a campus forum.
Many individuals in our community also have questions about how Proposal 2 affects specific aspects of our work. We have created a central e-mail address, Diversity.Questions@umich.edu, that will assist you in getting answers to your questions. Questions submitted to this address will go to the Office of Institutional Equity and will be routed to the appropriate areas for response.
We are asking the Diversity Blueprints task force, and our entire community, to leave no stone unturned as we explore ways to encourage diversity within the boundaries of the law. We look forward to your ideas and your energy. Together, we must continue to make this world-class university one that reflects the richness of the world.
Mary Sue Coleman
Teresa A. Sullivan
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs