Ongoing Efforts for Institutional Transformation


Thus far, 2020 has proven to be a winter and spring that required global adaptation to a deadly pandemic virus, only to be launched into summer by the systemic murder of African-Americans resulting in nationwide protests against racist police brutality.

These disturbing events require a commitment to lean-in and not turn away; they demand our conscientiousness and devotion to the principles of peace and healing needed in this country. The call to communicate across such division and assault is difficult to hear and to attempt to discuss.  We have compiled effective guidelines to help facilitate these difficult conversations available here:Guidelines for Discussion of 2020 Events.pdf

Education: the Antidote for Ignorance

Incidents of offensive language and behavior have been on the upswing across the nation, including on our own campus. At Central Michigan University, we leverage the collective wisdom of our faculty, staff and students and the full might of our resources to expand knowledge, foster inclusivity, and promote respect and understanding. We work diligently on the goals of: 

  • Preventing incidents of insensitivity by offering more education and training.

  • Equipping each other to respond and have positive impact when such incidents do occur.

  • Transforming our campus culture through education, advancing a "No Ignorance" climate for all students, faculty and staff. This supplements our No Tolerance policy, which ensures every incident receives institutional attention and appropriate response.

New initiatives in diversity, equity and inclusion

Many members of the CMU community are working to improve campus culture, including administrators, faculty, staff and students from areas such as Enrollment and Student Services, Residence Life, the Multicultural and Diversity Education Council, the University Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and the Human Resources Advisory Committee. In addition, students representing several campus RSOs are meeting with administrators and staff to better incorporate and communicate diversity and inclusion practices into campus events, activities and classes. Here's a sample of new initiatives underway in 2019:

For Students

  • Beginning Fall 2019, all incoming students will be required to complete a course on racial discrimination and a second class on social discrimination in the U.S.

  • CMU is offering increased opportunities to practice intergroup dialogue in settings such as residence halls, Leadership Safari and IMPACT.

  • Level Up, a new one-day workshop offered by the Sarah R. Opperman Leadership Institute, will explore social justice, power, privilege and oppression.

  • Leaders from multiple student groups are partnering with University Communications to incorporate CMU's diversity and inclusion values into recruitment materials and campus communication efforts.

 For Faculty and Staff

  • In January, Doctors Vernoica Barone and Anne Hornack began their terms as faculty diversity and inclusion fellows. They will visit with departments university wide to share information and best practices on diversity, equity and inclusion among faculty in their classrooms and units.

  • Every academic department has been adding expectations for diversity and inclusion in their criteria for research, teaching and service as part of the tenure and promotion requirements governed by faculty.

  • A new faculty position for a postdoctoral teaching fellow will lead expanded opportunities to participate in intergroup dialogue.

  • Five faculty and staff will attend the National Intergroup Dialogue Summer Institute in Ann Arbor. Another CMU team will attend the Intergroup Dialogue National Conference in Amherst, Massachusetts.

  • Performance reviews for all staff members will include annual goals related to learning, training and development in diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has hired both a diversity data analyst and a communications specialist to improve information sharing at CMU.

Existing campus resources for diversity, equity and inclusion

Each member of our campus community is encouraged to participate in university-sponsored events such as Conversations that Matter, Soup and Substance, Speaker Series, lecture series, heritage celebrations, awareness months and other special programs. Here are a few other resources: 

For Students

  • Every incoming student must complete Think About It, an online training program that promotes a healthy campus culture.
  • All Residence Life staff receive training and support to offer programs centered on identity, relationships and communities, equity and justice, and social responsibility.

  • Every residence hall has at least one student inclusion assistant who is responsible for educating members of the residential community on topics of equity and justice.

  • All students are invited to participate in numerous cultural events hosted by the Multicultural Academic Student Services office each month.

  • The Leadership Institute offers several conferences and workshops that address faith, gender identity, equity, inclusion, power, privilege and cultures of leadership.

  • Many community service opportunities in the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center offer students diversity and inclusion training as part of their volunteer placement.

 For Faculty and Staff

  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to complete the LawRoom online training program through the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity. The training emphasizes diversity, equity and inclusion as part of CMU's onboarding and orientation process.
  • OCRIE also offers in-person training for faculty and staff in several divisions on the topics of discrimination and harassment, as well as creating an inclusive environment.
  • The Office of Diversity Education offers several workshops each year open to all faculty and staff. This includes the annual Diversity Symposium, which is open to the entire campus.
  • ODE also provides specialty workshops for individual departments and units tailored to particular topics of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competency.
  • The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning offers a Diverse Voices series. These panel events allow students to share their experiences with faculty and staff and are followed by sessions on developing inclusive classroom techniques.

We all have a role to play in creating the environment we wish to see at Central Michigan University. How will you help?
Updated: 04/03/2019