Beginning in February 2019, a UOE DEI Planning Committee was convened to identify initial steps toward an office-wide DEI plan. The Planning Committee determined that the first phase would be to hold a full-day DEI retreat for all staff facilitated by Paulette Granberry Russell and Deborah Johnson from the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.

In May 2019, the UOE DEI retreat was held, grounded in the MSU Framework on Inclusiveness and Responsiveness released in June 2018 for university-wide discussion. Institutional focus areas outlined in the framework are: (1) leadership; (2) access, retention, and advancement; (3) research; (4) curriculum; (5) campus climate; and (6) external engagement. UOE staff were assigned to tables for a day of conversations discussing how we can better incorporate DEI into our work and unit, based on the institutional focus areas outlined in the framework.


Over the next several months, the Committee analyzed the input and developed a set of recommendations for UOE based on the table conversations at the DEI retreat. Select the links below to see the recommendations for each focus area:


The DEI Planning Committee adopted the Ford Foundation’s definitions for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences—collectively and as individuals. We seek to proactively engage, understand, and draw on a variety of perspectives. We believe that the solution to the problems we hope to address can be found by affirming our similarities, as well as by finding value in our differences.
  • Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and parity in access to information and resources for all. We believe this is only possible in an environment built on respect and dignity.
  • Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people. We believe every person’s voice adds value, and we strive to create balance in the face of power differences. We believe that no one person can or should be called upon to represent an entire community.