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Chapter 2: Diversity and Nondiscrimination

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2.C Ann Arbor Campus Resources

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“At the University of Michigan, we are convinced that academic excellence goes hand-in-hand with diversity, inclusion and equity. We are dedicated to DEI for it fosters the exchange and development of ideas; it promotes understanding across different identities, dispels racial stereotypes, and prepares our students to be leaders in the global marketplace and our increasingly multicultural society.  Committed as we are, the results of our DEI 1.0 initiative showed that we still have much more to do. So as we build on that work of DEI 2.0, let us strive to nurture thoughtful and understanding citizens, and further establish campuses and communities where each individual can live in peace and safety, and can learn and grow and thrive.”

– Santa J. Ono, President

The office of the Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion and Academic Affairs is committed to creating an inclusive and equitable climate that fully utilizes diversity at the University, while engaging surrounding communities as it pertains to issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Information about current, historical, and forward-looking activities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion can be found at the University’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion website.

The Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office (ECRT) oversees, facilitates and supports the University’s efforts to ensure equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. ECRT is the primary resource for policies on nondiscrimination, harassment, accommodations for persons with disabilities, and programs to promote diverse and qualified applicant pools during the hiring process. ECRT promotes a diverse, inclusive, supportive, and welcoming environment for faculty, students, staff, and other members of our community.

ECRT staff address questions and issues regarding: race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, veteran status, height and weight. Staff also provides a wide variety of training and educational programs to faculty, staff and students with respect to diversity, inclusion and respect. In addition, the Office supports various constituency groups throughout the University.

For more information, contact ECRT.

Additional Ann Arbor Campus Resources

Other campus offices and programs also provide information, programs, advocacy, service, and various forms of support to advance the University of Michigan’s goal of inclusiveness. Some of these are listed below. In addition, most of the schools and colleges have offices, programs, or administrators designated to work with these issues. Check with the appropriate dean or director’s office for more information. Finally, many academic departments offer courses that integrate multicultural content and perspectives into the curriculum or explore gender issues. Check the websites of the various schools and colleges or the schedule of courses for information on courses and curriculum.

Center for the Education of Women+ (CEW+)
Offers numerous programs of service, research, and advocacy to women, regardless of whether they are affiliated with the University; provides support to faculty through the Junior Women Faculty Network and the Women of Color in the Academy Project.

Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT)
Helps faculty better meet the needs of a diverse student body through its programs and resources on multicultural teaching and learning. See handbook section 8.B.1 “Center for Research on Learning and Teaching” in the online version.

Council for Disability Concerns
Works to identify and to remove architectural and attitudinal barriers to equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities.

Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG)
Serves as an institutional umbrella for on-going disciplinary and interdisciplinary research efforts focusing on women and gender, encourages and supports increasing those research efforts, and heightens the presence and impact of the University on women and gender scholarship.

International Institute
Responsible for the coordination of research and training in international, comparative, and area studies within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), as well as between LSA and schools and colleges across the University.

Martin Luther King, Jr./Cesar Chavez/Rosa Parks Visiting Professors Program
Contributes to the intellectual diversity of the curriculum and co-curriculum by providing students with the opportunity to interact with distinguished guest faculty with diverse points of view and experiences. Sponsoring departments are encouraged to include as part of a visit activities with local K-12 schools and other area institutions of higher education.

National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID)
The National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) catalyzes innovative approaches to diversity challenges and opportunities within the University, other major social institutions, the nation, and the world. Addressing diversity in its richest, broadest sense, the NCID promotes, launches, and advances national exemplars that foster concrete, lasting social change. Contact (734) 764-6497 or [email protected].

Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI)
Sponsors many programs and initiatives, including student academic multicultural initiatives, pre-college academic programs, and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium programming.

President’s Advisory Commission on Women’s Issues (PACWI)
Advises the president, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and other executive officers on issues of concern to women and makes recommendations concerning University policy and procedures. Members are appointed by the president and include faculty, staff, and students.

Program on Intergroup Relations
Brings together faculty who wish to address issues of intergroup relations in their classes. Faculty adapt instructional techniques tied to intergroup dialogue pedagogies and discuss content areas across disciplinary areas.

Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)
Provides an online faculty handbook to assist faculty in understanding the disabilities that can affect learning and the various adjustments that can be made in the learning environment to accommodate students with disabilities; offers services to students; promotes awareness of disability issues on campus.

Spectrum Center
(previously the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs)
Provides a comprehensive range of education, information, and advocacy services; works to create and maintain an open, safe, and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff, their families and friends, and the campus community at large.

The ADVANCE Program began as a five-year, grant-funded project promoting institutional transformation with respect to women faculty in science and engineering fields. With the University’s commitment to continue funding, the program is expanding to promote other kinds of diversity among faculty and students in all fields. The program aims to improve the University of Michigan’s campus environment in four general areas: recruitment, retention, climate, and leadership.

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)
Creates research partnerships between faculty and first- and second-year students and provides a variety of support services to facilitate successful experiences for both faculty and students. While admission is open to all U-M students, UROP continues to work toward improving the retention and academic achievement of underrepresented students and to support women in science and engineering.

University Faculty Ombuds Office
The Office of the University Faculty Ombuds is a confidential, impartial, informal, and independent resource for information and assistance to faculty members. It helps in resolving academic and administrative problems and disputes through procedures that may be preferable to a formal grievance or judicial proceedings.

The Office of the University Ombuds receives faculty complaints, concerns, and questions about alleged acts, omissions, improprieties, and broader problems, and works to ensure a fair, equitable, and expeditious resolution. The Ombuds may make an informal inquiry, request relevant documentation, review matters received, offer options for resolution, make referrals, and mediate disputes independently and impartially. In addition, the Ombuds serves as a resource for information, communication, and referrals, and makes recommendations for constructive change when University policies or procedures generate conflicts or concerns. The Office adheres to professional standards of practice established by the International Ombudsman Association.

In addition to the University Faculty Ombuds, each School or College has a Unit Ombuds who is also available as a source of unit-based information concerning University policies and for assistance in the resolution of disputes.

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE)
Designed to increase the number of girls and women pursuing degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while fostering their future success, the program also contributes to research and evaluation of WISE issues and initiatives. While WISE programs are open to all students, they are designed to encourage and support women and girls.

Women of Color in the Academy Project
Highlights the contributions of women of color to the University and works to build a network of women of color instructional faculty in order to promote career development, satisfaction, and retention.

See also handbook sections:

Chapter 2: Diversity and Nondiscrimination

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2.A General Principles

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The University of Michigan has, as one of its core values, an abiding commitment to sustaining a community in which the dignity of every individual is respected. Key to this value are efforts to foster and nurture an environment of civility and mutual respect. At the University, we live and work in a culture that defines itself in terms of intellectual exchange, appreciation of individual differences, and respect for each individual’s personal dignity. The University’s blend of students, faculty and staff from many backgrounds is a great resource and we all benefit from the mix of perspectives that is enriched by the unique experiences and insight that each person brings to our community. It is the understanding and appreciation for other points of view and richness of experiences that creates and sustains an environment that is inclusive and respectful.

As one of the world’s great public institutions of higher education, the University of Michigan is committed to being an inclusive, multicultural community where differences based on race, gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability status, color, national origin, age, marital status, veteran status, culture, socio- economic status, sexual orientation, height, weight, and religion are welcomed, nurtured, and respected. This commitment to various forms of diversity is a long-standing one. The first African-American male students were admitted to the University in 1868; the first women in 1870. This long-standing commitment to provide a pluralistic and welcoming academic environment stems from many sources, including the conviction that diversity is essential to creating an intellectual and social climate that promotes the freedom of thought and creativity so fundamental to academic inquiry, discovery, and learning.

The principle of an open and accepting community was first articulated in the statute establishing the University, which proclaimed in 1837 that “the University shall be open to all persons who possess the requisite literary and moral qualifications.” Interpretation of this principle has evolved over the generations. Nevertheless, students and faculty continue to come to the University of Michigan to learn the hard task of crossing the boundaries of race and culture, to engage across what James B. Angell called the “artificial distinctions of conventional society.” The University continues to strive to make educational and professional opportunities available equally to all members of our richly diverse society, and remains deeply committed to the notion that diversity is central to the identity, integrity, and mission of this University.

Chapter 2: Diversity and Nondiscrimination

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2.B University Policies and Statements

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2.B.1 Regental Statement of Nondiscrimination – Regental Bylaw 14.06

As the governing body of the University of Michigan, the Regents have adopted the following policy on nondiscrimination, a version of which appears on all official University documents:

The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does 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. The university also is committed to compliance with all applicable laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action.

Chapter XIV. Miscellaneous Rules and Regulations Bylaw 14.06 (revised April 2009).

2.B.2 Value of Diversity Statement

Senate Assembly, representing the faculty of the University, adopted the following Statement on Diversity and Inclusivity in April of 2013.

The University of Michigan is a great public institution. It is imperative that the University continue to work strenuously to create a learning community that reflects its aspirations to be a leader for public education in our increasingly diverse twenty-first century society. Therefore, it is resolved that we request the administration to: 1) seek to determine the cause(s) of the now decades-long lack of progress in improving campus diversity; 2) redirect University resources and strengthen leadership where necessary to achieve this goal of a more diverse and inclusive campus, supplementing any existing institutionalized programs with new creative approaches; 3) broaden the scope of efforts to include modern definitions of diversity (not only race, color, and national origin, but also age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, veteran status, and economic class); and 4) support initiatives such as the UM Alumni Association Leadership, Excellence, Achievement, Diversity (LEAD) scholarship program for under-represented minority students, including, to the extent possible, making such programs a high priority in the next University capital campaign, within the limits defined by the state and federal Constitutions.

For additional background, please see the June 20, 2013 Regents Communication.

2.B.3 Discrimination and Harassment Policy

It is the policy of the University of Michigan to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination and harassment for all students, faculty, and staff. Discrimination and harassment are contrary to the standards of the University community. They diminish individual dignity and impede educational opportunities, equal access to freedom of academic inquiry, and equal employment. Discrimination and harassment are barriers to fulfilling the University’s scholarly, research, educational, patient care, and service missions.

Discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, disability, religion, height, weight or veteran’s status as set forth in SPG 201.35 (Non-discrimination) and will not be tolerated at the University of Michigan.

SPG 201.35, Non-discrimination, also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Those forms of discrimination and harassment are not covered by this Policy and are instead addressed in SPG 601.89, Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct.

2.B.4 Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Policy

The University of Michigan believes that educational and employment decisions should be based on individuals’ abilities and qualifications and should not be based on irrelevant factors or personal characteristics which have no connection with academic abilities or job performance. Among the traditional factors which are generally “irrelevant” are race, sex, religion, and national origin. It is the policy of The University of Michigan that an individual’s sexual orientation be treated in the same manner. Such a policy ensures that only relevant factors are considered and that equitable and consistent standards of conduct and performance are applied. See SPG 601.89.

2.B.5 Policy Regarding Individuals with Disabilities

The University will not discriminate in its employment practices against applicants or employees who have a disability. Placement will be commensurate with ability to perform assigned work. Employees with disabilities will receive the same regular compensation as those with no disabilities for like work.

2.B.6 Religious Academic Conflicts Policy

The University of Michigan as a public institution does not observe religious holidays. However, it is the University’s policy that every reasonable effort should be made to help faculty and students avoid negative academic consequences when academic requirements conflict with their religious obligations.

U-M Guidance to Students Regarding Conflicts Between the Academic and Religious Calendars, which states:

Although the University of Michigan, as an institution, does not observe religious holidays, it has long been the University’s policy that every reasonable effort should be made to help students avoid negative academic consequences when their religious obligations conflict with academic requirements. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who expect to miss classes, examinations, or other assignments as a consequence of their religious observance shall be provided with a reasonable alternative opportunity to complete such academic responsibilities. It is the obligation of students to provide faculty with reasonable notice of the dates of religious holidays on which they will be absent. Such notice must be given by the drop/add deadline of the given term. Students who are absent on days of examinations or class assignments shall be offered an opportunity to make up the work, without penalty, unless it can be demonstrated that a make-up opportunity would interfere unreasonably with the delivery of the course. Should disagreement arise over any aspect of this policy, the parties involved should contact the Department Chair, the Dean of the School, or the Ombudsperson. Final appeals will be resolved by the Provost.

2.B.7 Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct (Including Title IX Misconduct)

Policy Statement

The University of Michigan, comprised of the Ann Arbor campus, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the University of Michigan-Flint, and Michigan Medicine (collectively the “University”), is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and non-discriminatory campus community that is free from Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct and that enables individuals engaged in its Programs or Activities to participate fully in the scholarly, research, educational, patient care, and service missions of the University. The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its Programs or Activities.

The University of Michigan Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct (“Policy”) prohibits the following types of conduct as defined in Policy Section XI (also referred to collectively as “Prohibited Conduct”):

  1. Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct (i.e., Sexual Assault; Sexual Exploitation; Sexual Harassment; Gender-Based Harassment; Sex and/or Gender-Based Stalking; Intimate Partner Violence; Sex and Gender- Based Discrimination; Retaliation and Violation of Supportive Measures); and
  2. Title IX Misconduct (i.e., Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment; Severe, Pervasive and Objectively Offensive Sexual Harassment; Sexual Assault; Intimate Partner Violence and Sex and Gender-based Stalking; as defined by and within the scope of Title IX).

Prohibited Conduct undermines the character and purpose of the University and the University will take appropriate prompt and effective action to eliminate Prohibited Conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. Prohibited Conduct may also constitute crimes that violate federal and state law.

The University adopts the Policy with a commitment to: (1) eliminating, preventing, and addressing the effects of Prohibited Conduct; (2) fostering an environment where all individuals are well-informed and supported in reporting possible Prohibited Conduct; (3) providing a fair and impartial process — including constitutionally required due process where applicable — for all parties; and (4) identifying the procedures by which violations of the Policy will be evaluated. Employees, Students, or Third Parties (as defined in Section II below) who violate the Policy may face, as appropriate, disciplinary action up to and including termination, expulsion, or other actions.

It is the responsibility of every member of the University Community to foster an environment free of Prohibited Conduct. All members of the University Community are encouraged to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop such behavior.

Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Resources website provides information about how to report sexual and gender-based misconduct,; relevant policy and procedures; education and training material; student, faculty, and staff resources; and updates. The Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct is posted as SPG 601.89. If you have questions, contact the Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office.