Student activism, especially since Fall 2013 (such as: #BBUM, #UMDivest campaign in Winter 2014, Black Student Union demands, and more), reignited a commitment from staff, faculty, and administration at the University of Michigan to allocate time and other resources to issues of inclusive teaching.
President Schlissel (appointed in July of 2014), has prioritized a focus on a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a key pillar of his leadership. On October 5, 2016, a five-year campus-wide DEI strategic plan, which serves as an umbrella for 49 unit plans, was launched. The University’s hope is that “Together, the local plans and this campus-wide plan encourage individual and collective action, and promote transparency and accountability at every level.” After much deliberation, three core campus-wide strategies emerged that provide a foundation for the campus’ strategic plan: 1) to create an inclusive and equitable campus climate, 2) recruit, retain and develop a diverse community, and 3) support innovative and inclusive scholarship and teaching. More information about the university’s DEI commitment and updates can be found on the DEI website.
Student activism, and especially student concerns expressed at multiple Community Conversations on Race hosted during the Understanding Race theme semester in Winter 2013, motivated the assembly of staff from various LSA Undergraduate Education units to establish the LSA Undergraduate Education Climate Committee, which adopted the following mission statement in 2014:
The LSA Undergraduate Education Climate Committee seeks to improve the campus climate so that all students at Michigan feel welcome, supported, and respected. By collaborating with students, faculty and staff on issues of diversity and inclusiveness, by continuing our own education and skill development, and by speaking out against acts of bias, racism, inequality and similar issues on campus, we are working to improve the experience of members of the College and broader University community.
As the work of this committee grew, subcommittees formed including the Inclusive Pedagogies subcommittee which built and coordinates this website. This website, funded by a CRLT Faculty Development Fund grant, offers a robust database of instructional resources including definitions and elements of inclusive teaching, scripts and videotaped simulations of key activities, reflections and advice from journeyed faculty, and narratives from students about their experiences. Inspired by the crowd-sourced #FergusonSyllabus, and the more recent #StandingRockSyllabus and #CharlottesvilleSyllabus, these resources are presented via an interactive web platform that allows you to post comments and suggest additional resources, so as to grow a campus conversation and resources relevant to any disciplinary setting.