No time to rest on our laurels

May 31, 2022

Diversity, equity, and inclusion work continues at the Ford School


Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values of the Ford School. They’re inseparable from our pursuit of the public good. They’re essential to the character of the institution.

Michael S. Barr

Throughout the 2022–23 academic year, the University of Michigan will begin planning in earnest for “DEI 2.0”— its next major strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion, set to launch in October 2023.

At the Ford School, we’re evaluating and learning from our first 5-year DEI strategic plan as well. At the same time, we’re keeping this important work moving forward, infused in everything we do.

With input from student leaders, the school’s internal DEI Coalition, faculty, staff, and alumni, the school has identified six key priorities for this interim period.

Read more about the school’s strategic priorities on our website:

This is certainly no time to rest on our laurels; we have a lot of work to do. But I’m proud of all the work we’ve done these past few years, and proud especially of how we’ve done it—together.

Stephanie Sanders, diversity, equity, and inclusion officer


Dean Michael S. Barr and Associate Dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes reflect on the school’s vision for and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Kaltura Video


Strategic priorities for diversity, equity, and inclusion (2022–2023)

1. Diversify our faculty and staff

We seek to attract and retain a demographically and intellectually diverse faculty, and support all faculty in countering implicit biases. We are implementing new approaches to attract and retain diverse staff.

2. Diversify our student body

We are working to recruit students from underrepresented backgrounds, enhance support services to help all students succeed, and equip all students with the ability to understand DEI issues as it relates to analyzing, making, and implementing policy. While we have made significant progress in this work in our master’s and PhD programs and see the need for continuing work ahead, we recognize that special attention is needed to diversify our BA programs.

3. Integrate anti-racism into our curriculum and co-curricular activities

Provide guidance and training to faculty and staff to address issues related to racism and institutional discrimination; encourage new ways to integrate DEI content into courses; and offer courses and programming that explicitly address structural racism in public policy.

4. Support research and policy engagement that pursues just, equitable, and inclusive public policy for diverse populations

Foster new research and policy engagement, enhance and promote DEI values in public policy discourse, and connect faculty research and policy engagement related to DEI to our educational programs.

5. Create engagement opportunities that advance social justice

Provide financial and logistical support to pursue research projects, policy and community engagement opportunities, and learning experiences that advance social justice.

6. Bolster DEI communications

Amplify events, research, insights, and opportunities that advance DEI within and beyond the Ford School and the University of Michigan, and elevate DEI values in public policy discourse.


More in State & Hill

Below, find the full, formatted spring 2022 edition of State & HillClick here to return to the Spring 2022 S&H homepage.