Vice President’s Message: Reflecting on our Five-Year Strategic Plan and Focusing on the Finish Line Ahead

Martino Harmon

September 30, 2022 

Dear Michigan Community:

Student Life has achieved significant progress in DEI 1.0 to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion at Michigan. Beginning in 2015, Student Life engaged a broad cross-section of students and staff to augment our research efforts and ensure a grounded and informed plan to be implemented over the next five years. Connections were made early in the planning process, including town halls and individual and group sessions with students, student leaders, student organizations, student employees, and our staff. 

With this strong foundation of stakeholder involvement as our starting point, our plan continues to be inspired by ongoing student and staff insights and has shaped our strategic and iterative priorities. Assessment of our DEI 1.0 progress can be seen in more detail in Student Life’s DEI 1.0 Evaluation Summary. Some highlights of our progress in the first five years include: 

  • strengthening existing advocacy, support and education, and the first year experience;

  • improving DEI partnerships with schools/colleges;

  • opening of the Trotter Multicultural Center on State Street;

  • improving assessment capacity to ensure our DEI work is more data-informed;

  • enhancing current staff DEI skills while developing inclusive hiring practices; 

  • facilitating broad and diverse student engagement with DEI efforts;

  • building a culture of community care informed by current student experiences; and  

  • educating our community on sexual and gender-based misconduct prevention.  

As we celebrate the successes of DEI 1.0, we are hard at work this year engaging our community in the planning for DEI 2.0 in order to integrate successful initiatives into the division, to transform the Michigan experience, and to sustain the progress we have already achieved for many years to come. Our planning year efforts will include: 

  • celebrating the success of our DEI 1.0 accomplishments 

  • sharing our Student Life Campus Climate Survey results throughout the division;

  • hosting DEI 2.0 idea generation sessions focused on a variety of priority topics across multiple stakeholder groups; and 

  • developing the priorities and goals for our DEI 2.0 plan, which will be launched in October 2023.  

None of this work is done alone, however, which is why we celebrate these accomplishments achieved in partnership with staff and students across campus as a strong foundation for the innovation that lies ahead.


Sincerely and on behalf of our Student Life Team,


Martino Harmon, Ph.D. 

Vice President for Student Life