Student Life

E. Royster Harper, VP for Student Life

Dear Michigan Community:

Student Life’s focus for Year One prioritized sustaining success in and expanding access to the vast array of existing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts throughout the Student Life division to meet the increasingly complex and growing challenges faced by our campus community affected by the current climate.  Student Life houses nationally recognized exemplary programs in social justice education and diversity, equity and inclusion student advocacy and support initiatives. Our staff-facing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts also inform development programs campus-wide. By building capacity in these teams and programs already demonstrating success, Student Life strengthened the foundation for building expanded and improved programs and initiatives over the next five years. 

Our Year One investments included financial, staffing and assessment resources.  We enhanced staffing to improve access to programs, provided increased programming funds to expand offerings and implemented robust assessment and evaluation systems to determine effectiveness and identify areas of focus.  With these efforts, we laid the groundwork to improve impact and meet the growing needs of our community in Year Two and beyond.

While expanding existing programs and teams, we also prioritized exploring innovative tools for developing improved community understanding of intercultural learning and tools for effective cross-cultural engagement.  In our student-facing efforts, we built infrastructure to deliver the first ever Intercultural Development Inventory Pilot Program and initiated a campus-wide collaborative to develop a Campus Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Social Transformation.  We also enhanced our staff development diversity, equity and inclusion programs while making significant structural changes to protocol, practices and systems to ensure more equitable hiring, onboarding and evaluation systems to improve and sustain a diverse and informed workforce.

Our strengthening, innovation and enhancement efforts in Year One are undergirded by our work to engage students in the diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan implementation.  We developed representative undergraduate and graduate/professional advisory boards devoted to influencing diversity, equity and inclusion planning and implementation.  We also sought ongoing student input in our existing and new programs through town halls, focus groups and surveys. 

A summary of our accomplishments in Year One is available here.  This highly collaborative effort was led by strategic leaders and teams across our division in partnership with many student employees and leaders.


Sincerely and on behalf of the Student Life team,

Royster Harper

Vice President for Student Life

View the accomplishments in Year One