Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Planning

View the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy (PDF) for the School of Public Health.

In 2015, the President of the University of Michigan charged the University community to develop strategic plans to support, strengthen, and further diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the University. This initiative was known as DEI 1.0 and plans were in effect for five years, from 2016-2021. Once DEI 1.0 concluded, the University undertook a campus effort to review and evaluate the first strategic plan period and to plan for the next iteration of the University’s commitment to DEI. Please read our summary of DEI 1.0 to learn more about our School's progress over the course of the first DEI strategic plan.

Over the last two years, the School of Public Health has worked to evaluate our success and growth areas from DEI 1.0 and significantly engage with the faculty, staff, fellows and students who make the School of Public Health community to learn more about the issues most important to them. As a result, our plan is a rich and dynamic plan that covers all faculty, staff, students, and fellows in the School. The strategic objectives that make up the School’s DEI 2.0 plan responds to our community's current needs while leaving room to grow into our future needs, challenges, hopes, and dreams.  

On this page, you will find an overview of the eight strategic objectives that make up the SPH plan. This page also contains a link to the full DEI 2.0 strategic plan, which includes the strategic objectives, year one and two action items for each objective, and metrics that will be used to assess progress around each objective. The plan document also includes an overview of the planning process and a summary of the feedback the Planning Team received from the SPH community. We strongly encourage all SPH community members to review the full DEI 2.0 strategic plan and share your feedback with the School’s DEI Team.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 2.0: Five-Year Strategic Objectives

Incorporate DEI frameworks and content into SPH Curriculum

The School of Public Health understands the vital importance of our graduates’ ability to positively contribute to health equity efforts. As such we aim to integrate DEI into our curriculum via frameworks such as equity-focused teaching, accessible design and instruction, anti-racist pedagogy and others that help students think deeply about identity, systemic inequity, and health. These equity-focused approaches will help positively impact our students’ and instructors’ experiences in the classroom as well as help prepare our students to better recognize and meet the public health challenges of today and in the future.

Cultivate a Culture of Belonging & Community Care

The School of Public Health seeks to cultivate a working and learning community based on connection, collaboration, and care. We see these three values and practices as essential to creating and sustaining a sense of belonging for all of the community members in the School. Belonging is critical to DEI work as a fundamental human need that, when experienced authentically and deeply, can positively impact our working, teaching, and learning efforts. Connection, collaboration, and care not only support belonging but are also fundamental to the field of Public Health, so centering them creates synergy with the broader field and strengthens our training of the next generation of Public Health professionals.

Establish Equity Driven Talent Acquisition Processes

This strategic objective focuses on sharpening our recruitment, hiring, and admissions processes to integrate and center equity-focused practices. These practices will be designed to increase transparency, set all candidates up for success, better prepare search partners, and strengthen the School’s hiring and selection processes and outcomes.

Develop effective retention strategies for SPH faculty, staff, and students

Retaining the talent, experience, and expertise of community members complements the important work of recruiting and hiring in cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community at SPH. This strategic objective focuses the School’s efforts to understand, anticipate, and meet the needs of our existing faculty, staff, and students so that they find meaningful pathways to professional advancement and personal growth at the School.

Expand pathways for, among others, historically underrepresented students into SPH and the field of Public Health

Cultivating a diverse student body ensures the opportunity for students to bring their unique lived experiences, cultural backgrounds, and perspectives to the field of Public Health. Students’ diverse life experiences and viewpoints can enrich classroom discussions, research, and policy development, leading to more comprehensive and effective solutions that address the needs of all communities. By expanding pathways for underrepresented students, among others, the School of Public Health will play a role in cultivating a generation of diverse, inclusive, culturally aware and responsive leaders who can drive positive change in Public Health and can better respond to the complex and evolving health needs of diverse communities.

Strengthen Trust through Transparency & Collaboration

By being transparent about our actions, decisions, and intentions, we aim to create an environment based on openness, accountability, and inclusivity. We also seek to increase collaborative efforts within the SPH community. Collaboration allows for co-creation of solutions that consider diverse viewpoints and expertise and, as a result, can lead to greater investment and integration by the larger School community. By contributing to the design and implementation of DEI efforts at SPH, community members can share a sense of ownership and pride in the outcomes.

Strengthen DEI Learning & Practice Across SPH

Through this strategic objective, the School aims to support the professional growth and development of its faculty, staff, fellows, and students with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. DEI professional development and learning helps to ensure that SPH community members have the necessary skills, knowledge, expectations, and capacities to center equity, inclusion, and belonging in their daily practice in the School. Our approach to DEI learning highlights it as a central part of professional growth and as relevant to all members of the community regardless of position, tenure, or portfolio.

Partner with SPH Chief Development Officer to identify fundraising opportunities for DEI priorities around student support and faculty development.

This strategic objective aims to more fully integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into the School’s Development portfolio. This integration may include fundraising to support student internships, scholarships, and research opportunities. It may also include efforts to promote and support faculty recruitment, hiring, retention, research, and teaching.

Committee Members, 2023

Name Department Group Representative Title Email
Chidimma Ozor Commer BIOSTAT Staff Wellness & Inclusion Advocate, Biostatistics + Epidemiology cozor@umich.edu
David Kubacki BIOSTAT Staff Biostat Staff Rep dkubacki@umich.edu 
Rui Nie BIOSTAT Student Biostat Student Rep ruinie@umich.edu
Laura Scott BIOSTAT Faculty Biostat Faculty Rep ljst@umich.edu
Andrea Lubetkin Dean's Office Staff Director of Human Resources lubetkin@umich.edu
Cely Smart Dean's Office Dean's Office  Chief of Staff and Strategic Advisor to the Dean smartca@umich.edu
Enrique Neblett Dean's Office Dean's Office  Faculty Co-Lead/Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health eneblett@umich.edu
Lara Trocchio Dean's Office Dean's Office Chief Operating Officer laratro@umich.edu
Lynda Lisabeth  Dean's Office Dean's Office  Professor of Epidemiology, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, School of Public Health and Research Professor, Neurology, Medical School llisabet@umich.edu
Marie O'Neill Dean's Office Dean's Office  Faculty Co-Lead/ Professor of Epidemiology  & Environmental Health Sciences marieo@umich.edu 
Mateen Zafer Dean's Office Dean's Office   DEI Program Manager mzafer@umich.edu
Rachel Casanova Dean's Office Dean's Office  Director of Student Affairs racacasa@umich.edu
Sharon Kardia  Dean's Office Dean's Office  Millicent W Higgins Collegiate Professor of Epidemiology, Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Education, School of Public Health skardia@umich.edu
Whitney Peoples Dean's Office Dean's Office  DEI Director  wpeoples@umich.edu
Whitney Vojtkofsky Dean's Office MarComm Event Strategist and Programming Coordinator whitdix@umich.edu
Anagha Tapaswi EHS Staff EHS Staff Rep atapaswi@umich.edu 
Deborah Watkins EHS Faculty EHS Faculty Rep debjwat@umich.edu
Savannah Sturla EHS Student EHS Student Rep ssturla@umich.edu
Simone Charles EHS Faculty Associate Chair, Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences simonec@umich.edu
Dominique Person EPID Staff EPID Staff Rep dominiqp@umich.edu
Alexis Handal EPID Faculty Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Professor of Global Public Health ahandal@umich.edu
Danielle Smith EPID Student  EPID Student Rep danilsc@umich.edu
Amber Garcia HBHE Student HBHE Student Rep amberga@umich.edu
Paul Fleming HBHE Faculty Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education pauljf@umich.edu
Christopher Cadham HMP Student (PhD) HMP Student Rep ccadham@umich.edu
Thuy Nguyen HMP Faculty Research Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy and Adjunct Lecturer in Health Management and Policy thuydn@umich.edu
Amanda Palma NS Staff Nutrition Data Systems Coordinator amapalma@umich.edu
Peter Mancuso NS Faculty NS Faculty Rep pmancuso@umich.edu