Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Our commitment

Our commitment to the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We value community, integrity, respect, service, inclusion, diversity, and equity. We aspire for our work to be excellent, relevant, rigorous, collaborative, engaged, and impactful.

Diversity. We commit to increasing diversity, which is expressed in myriad forms, including race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic 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.

At the Ford School, we feel strongly that this important work can't be done in isolation, by a single point person or group. Instead, we've structured our inclusion initiatives to be integrated throughout all we do, and to be a collective responsibility of faculty, staff, and students. We're making progress because we've got a strong commitment from people throughout the Ford School community."

Susan Guindi, director of Student & Academic Services and DEI co-lead

Four DEI co-leads further strengthen our efforts and deepen engagement across the school. They are: Stephanie Sanders, DEI officer/lecturer; Susan Guindi, director of Student & Academic Services; Paula Lantz, associate dean for academic affairs; and Robert Hampshire, associate professor of public policy. Learn more about the DEI Coalition.

Yazier Henry teaching in front of a room of students

DEI strategic plan

A living document

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’.
DEI strategic plan and results

Diversity and the study and practice of public policy

As a discipline, public policy occupies a unique place within society. If we aim to prepare diverse leaders to take on our communities' and our world's most pressing challenges and conduct transformational research, we must do better at explicitly examining the forces at work that create systemic and structural inequalities. 

    As part of our commitment to engage more deeply with our mission and core values, this includes but is not limited to exploring the role of policy history and its lasting implications, more fully contextualizing interpretations of research findings, reexamining data sources and analytic methods, and communicating these findings to intended audiences.

    Attention to and respect for diversity, equity, and inclusion:

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    Although the current socio-political context has created a heightened sensitivity and sense of urgency regarding the need for deeper engagement, we see this evolution as essential to our mission and core values over the long term. Further, we see this as an essential part of our broader diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.


    Our faculty think, speak out, and teach about structural inequality–about differential outcomes and experiences for Black people and other marginalized populations in education, policing, health, economics, finance, and other key...
    Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni are leading the charge on public policy responses to and analysis of the COVID-19 crisis.
    Many voices our michigan

    University-wide commitment

    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 about the University of Michigan's work around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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    Read more related to the Ford School's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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