Ford School launches Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Planning initiative

September 29, 2015

Today, Dean Susan M. Collins officially launched the Ford School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic planning initiative, which will be a top priority for the Ford School for the coming year.

Here are excerpts from the letter Collins sent to members of the Ford School community:

Dear community:

U-M President Mark Schlissel has made issues of diversity, equity and inclusion a priority of his presidency. At a luncheon on Sept 9, 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—is 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.

I’ve asked Shobita Parthasarathy and Susan Guindi to spearhead the process here at the Ford School and coordinate with the overall university effort. They will join more than 75 other individuals who are serving as planning leads, representing each of the university’s schools, colleges and campus units.

Shobita and Susan are joined by a team of faculty, students, and staff, who together comprise the Ford School’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) planning committee. The other members of that team are Paul Courant, Demar Lewis, Erik Riley, Alexandra Thebau, and Susan Waltz.

The University of Michigan has a fierce and longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

At the Ford School, we embrace this commitment. We recognize that attention to and respect for diversity is 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. And it encourages us to think through how to develop and implement public policies to ensure their benefits across populations.

Our DEI team will move quickly, starting this fall with an intense effort to gather input from all students, faculty, and staff of the Ford School.

With surveys, visioning exercises, town hall meetings, and more, each of you will be asked to share your perspectives and your vision. Our top goal for this first phase is to hear from every single one of you! I hope that, like me, you’ll be excited to actively participate in this rare opportunity to inform and shape the Ford School’s future. I feel inspired to be involved in this, but it’s only with the perspectives and visions of all us can we achieve the best plan possible.

For more information:


Susan M. Collins