University of Michigan to Examine Its History Relating to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The University of Michigan is set to begin a multifaceted, years-long project to study, document, and better understand the university’s history with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion — with the history of race and racism as its first major focus.

“As our country undergoes a long-overdue reckoning about race and the treatment of African Americans and people of color, it is critical for the university to also hold up a mirror to itself. Our history is remarkable yet also flawed,” said Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan. “With the Inclusive History Project, we pledge to develop a more truthful and inclusive narrative about our institution’s past. Only then can we move forward as a genuinely equitable community that acknowledges and celebrates all its members.”

Two leading university scholars will chair the first phase of the project: Elizabeth Cole, professor of women’s and gender studies, psychology, and Afroamerican and African studies; and Earl Lewis, the Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afroamerican and African Studies and Public Policy.

“Deep engagement with our internal and extended external communities, such as the African American community in Detroit, Native American tribes in Michigan, and multiple generations of alumni and staff families, is fundamental to a fuller understanding of our past and the contemporary effects of our history,” said Professor Lewis.

“For years, the University of Michigan has been engaged in efforts to help us become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive,” said Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion, chief diversity officer, and professor of education and psychology. “Having a more inclusive understanding of our history is foundational to building a more inclusive present and future for the university.”

Related Articles


  1. This is simply another politically correct attempt to make it appear as if UMICH is really concerned about solving the institutional and systemic racism at UMICH. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this “study” is simply a feeble attempt to literally “kick the can” down the proverbial higher education road which results in NO substantive change at UMICH. The UMICH is just as racist as Ole Miss, Alabama, Pepperdine, and even BYU. This is not surprising b/c once you venture beyond 8 Mile road in Detroit it’s akin to being in MS is the early 1920s. The state of Michigan is nothing more than the “Mississippi of the North”.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Elizabeth City State University Establishes Transfer Agreements With a Local Community College

Through three recently signed agreements, students at the College of the Albemarle now have the opportunity for a seamless transfer to Elizabeth City State University upon completion of their associate's degree.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Reports on Demographic Disparities Within American Public Workforce

The report found that Black workers in overrepresented occupations make about $20,000 to $30,000 less than the compensation of White workers in overrepresented fields. African Americans were also found to be more likely than White Americans to work in a lower-wage, segregated occupations.

Christon Arthur Named First Black President of La Sierra University in California

Upon assuming his new role on July 1, Dr. Arthur will become the first Black president of La Sierra University. He has served as provost of Andrews University in Michigan for the past eight years.

Business Leaders Engaging in Same-Race Diversity Initiatives Are Perceived as Displaying Favoritism

When asked to measure their employers' effectiveness in same-race versus cross-race diversity efforts, participants were more likely to negatively rate leaders who engaged in diversity initiatives geared towards members of their own race.

Featured Jobs