Today we pride ourselves on being the “leaders and the best.” In fact, this is more than just a slogan. All of the departments in Michigan Engineering are ranked within or near the top 10 in their field. At the university level, nearly 100 departments are in the top 10 in their respective fields and there are only three other universities worldwide that can make that claim. Some would argue, therefore, that we are excellent now despite our shortcomings on the DEI front. However, as the demographic makeup of the future pool of potential students shifts, and as more corporations recognize the contributions of diverse teams to creativity and innovation, we believe the competitive advantage and high rankings of the College and University will erode if we fail to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.
Our five-year vision is to make a difference through the education of all students, and the creation of research and technologies, for maximum impact on society. To achieve this vision, we must cultivate a creative community of scholars, leaders, innovators, faculty, students and graduates with diverse interests, knowledge and backgrounds. We must support this community with resources and the intentional fostering of opportunities to interact, collaborate and create. In doing so, we will be able to take full advantage of U-M’s primary distinction of having a wide range of highly ranked academic disciplines both within and beyond Michigan Engineering (“excellence across breadth”).
With this in mind, we are adopting the following strategic imperatives:
Michigan Engineering will distinguish itself from competing engineering schools by becoming a “best-in-class” institution for developing engineers that excel as multicultural technologists and leaders (which we define as intellectually and socially engaged, valued, interactive, and rapidly connected to resources, information, each other, the College, the nation, and the world).
- We will select and implement a governing framework for the College approach to diversity, equity and inclusion similar to the “Inclusive Excellence Framework” used by the Ross School of Business. The framework would provide a roadmap for how we approach DEI, how we communicate our strategic intent internally and externally and how we maintain a “constancy of purpose” for accountability.
- Michigan Engineering will strive to build a critical mass of diverse talent representative of all forms of diversity; we will leverage this talent to create a unique learning environment/experience for faculty, students and staff.
The College will work to define and deploy a mission that signifies our belief in the power and necessity of diversity, equity and inclusion as a competitive advantage. This includes:
- A statement of commitment affirming our intention to leverage diversity, equity and inclusion to ensure that innovation, entrepreneurship and public service are fundamental characteristics of our graduates.
- A definition of our guiding core principles and values
- A statement of the value proposition as defined by our business customers (industry leaders recruiting at and/or doing research with us).
Creating the community that we desire will require the full engagement of our faculty, staff and students and holistic institutional change. Michigan Engineering has many important initiatives underway already to realize this vision. The work done to develop this strategic plan is aimed at focusing and accelerating our progress toward our vision for the future. The following defines the process used to determine our strategic objectives and supporting action plans. All strategic objectives and related actions will be pursued in accordance with the law and University policy.