Student Life

E. Royster Harper, VP for Student Life

Dear Michigan Community,


Student Life achieved significant progress in Years One and Two of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan. In Year Three, we continue to prioritize sustaining success in and expanding access to the vast array of existing DEI efforts throughout the Student Life division to meet the increasingly complex and growing challenges faced by our campus community. 


Student Life houses nationally recognized exemplary programs in social justice education and DEI student advocacy and support initiatives. Our staff-facing DEI efforts also inform development programs campus-wide. By continuing to build these successful teams and programs, Student Life strengthens the foundation for continually expanding and improving programs and initiatives.  


In Year Two we built upon our Year One investments in enhancing staffing and capacity and improved assessment and evaluation systems. Our data-informed areas of focus this year included prioritizing partnership and expanding developmental programs and support for both our students and staff.  


In prioritizing partnerships, we developed shared definitions and partnership principles and devoted leadership roles to this effort. We identified 272 Student Life DEI partnerships, including 201 within schools and colleges, 26 with the Provost Office and 45 across the greater U-M campus community. Our focus in Year Three will be on strengthening and expanding these partnerships.


Through our student-facing efforts, we analyzed data from our program inventory to identify key strengthening opportunities for providing students with support on campus climate-related incidents and other campus climate challenges. Student Life currently has 114 programs in place to support students experiencing harm and challenges associated with campus climate. Across all 114 programs there was a divisional reach of 58,895 non-unique student participants. In Year Two, we focused on increasing the capacity of current programs at the individual, community and structural levels in Allyhood Education, Student Leadership, Well-being, Disability Culture, Navigation, and Support.  


Additionally, we worked with campus leaders to communicate a campus-wide commitment to our “Strengthening the First Year Experience” effort over the next three years. In alignment with this and other efforts, we continued to make progress on building a new Trotter Multicultural Center on State Street. 


"We also affirmed the Intercultural Development Inventory Pilot Program’s effectiveness and increased access to this valuable student development opportunity by collaborating with faculty to introduce the experience to students in the colleges of Engineering, Education, Kinesiology, Literature, Science and the Arts, as well as the Rackham Graduate school." This approach led to an increase in student participation in the IDI by 90% year over year between 2016 and 2017, with 405 students completing the IDI (up from 213 last year). We also expanded partnerships and improved capacity and support for this work by increasing the number of faculty and staff trained to serve as IDI Qualified Administrators (educators who provide individual intercultural development coaching sessions with students). As the IDI Pilot moves into Year Three, the number of faculty and staff who serve as Qualified Administrators will exceed 100, tripling our total number in one year. Furthermore, we continued to expand implementation of staff pilot programs and tools devoted to equitable hiring, onboarding and evaluation to improve and sustain a diverse and informed Student Life workforce.


Our strengthening, innovation, assessment and enhancement efforts in Years One and Two are undergirded by our ongoing commitment to engaging students in strategic plan implementation. We continued to develop representative undergraduate and graduate/professional advisory boards devoted to influencing planning and implementation and these groups assisted in hosting the DEI student summit in 2017 and again this year. 


We attribute our accomplishments in Years One and Two to a highly collaborative effort led by strategic leaders and teams across all 25 units of our division, in partnership with many student employees and leaders. Our commitment to building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive Michigan is stronger than ever as we build upon the solid foundation of Years One and Two in Year Three.


Sincerely and on behalf of the Student Life team,

Royster Harper

Vice President for Student Life


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