The Ford School's community

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy is a community that values the diversity of its members, believing that diversity enriches the educational environment and the experience for all of us.

We respect every member of our community, and value their self-identities along a broad spectrum of factors, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, socio-economic background, and social or political belief.

The Ford School's strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion

In October 2016, the Ford School released a five-year strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion, developed with broad community input over the course of the previous academic year.

The plan addresses four central goals: (1) diversifying ‘who we are’, (2) diversifying ‘what and how we teach’, (3) promoting an equitable and inclusive climate, and (4) diversifying ‘our research and policy engagement’.

U-M President Mark Schlissel has made issues of diversity, equity and inclusion a priority of his presidency. At a luncheon on Sept 9, 2015, he officially launched a campus-wide strategic planning process to produce a five-year strategic plan that will enhance diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the university.

The entire university—more than 30 campus units, including the 19 schools and colleges on the Ann Arbor campus—engaged in the planning process. Each unit is responsible for conducting an engaged planning process and developing a unit-specific strategic plan. These individual plans will then form the basis for the comprehensive UM Diversity Strategic Plan.

Learn more and read the full Ford School plan here.

Read Dean Collins' year one DE&I reflections here.

Read the full University of Michigan strategic plan here.

Diversity and the study and practice of public policy

As President Ford reminded us, "the global economy requires unprecedented grasp of diverse viewpoints and cultural traditions."

Attention to and respect for diversity is indeed integral to the study and practice of public policy. It requires us to think critically and analytically about how public policies may affect people differently—including how these effects might vary depending on experience, circumstances, history, culture, and location.

Attention to and respect for diversity also allows us to understand both the challenges and the value of the population changes occurring within the United States and other countries, as well as the growing interconnectedness of people worldwide. It helps us to better analyze conflict, while developing resolutions that are likely to be more legitimate among heterogeneous populations.

And, it encourages us to think through, in a nuanced way, how to develop and implement public policies so that we can ensure their benefits across populations. All of these dimensions are critical in training students to be active and engaged citizens—leaders in an increasingly diverse world.

Here are some stories about how the Ford School community has grappled with challenging issues—around race, around gender, around all types of difference—over the past year+.

Diversity of disciplines and policy lenses

A true hallmark of the Ford School and of the University of Michigan is the deeply interdisciplinary nature of our teaching and research. Most of our faculty have affiliations with other U-M schools and departments, and their work in and out of the classroom draws upon multiple perspectives.

Diversity at the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan maintains a comprehensive website describing its approach to diversity and diversity-related initiatives. Visit Diversity Matters to learn more about the history of the University's dedication to diversity; to access hundreds of campus resources, events, and initiatives; and to learn about what University faculty, staff, and student leaders are doing now to "push ourselves to take the lead on issues of equity and diversity along all dimensions, setting the example for public institutions across the country."