On Monday and Tuesday, October 14 and 15, Rackham Graduate School hosted its first Minority Serving Institutions Summit.
MSIs are unique institutions in the landscape of higher education, with a specific mission to serve minority populations. By developing and promoting relationships with MSIs, Rackham aims to provide historically underserved populations with opportunities for graduate and professional training while cultivating a highly qualified, diverse graduate-student community at U-M.
“Continually strengthening our relationships with both our MSI partners and our programs and departments here at Michigan advances our goal of attracting a diverse student population,” says Rackham Dean Mike Solomon. “It also contributes to an essential part of our mission here at Rackham: ensuring that all students feel welcomed, supported, and a sense of belonging.”
Informed by the National Forum for the Public Good in Higher Education and using its framework of awareness, understanding, planning, and action, as well as by the efforts of the National Center for Institutional Diversity, the summit served to improve and facilitate the building of relationships between U-M and MSIs.
Over the course of two days, the MSI Summit facilitated talks and breakout sessions, including remarks from Solomon and Rackham MSI Coordinator Edmund Graham. It aimed to expand awareness of the role of MSIs in higher education, highlight both the historic and contemporary relationships between U-M and MSIs, and provide U-M programs and departments with strategies and best practices for building relationships with MSIs..
“We recognize that U-M programs and departments are at varying stages in their understanding of, outreach to, and collaboration with Minority Serving Institutions,” Graham says. “We hope that through this MSI Summit, we’re able to offer them something that will empower them to enhance their efforts toward building culturally responsive, bidirectional relationships with MSIs.”
This year’s summit saw participation from the following U-M colleges, schools, and departments:
- Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
- College of Pharmacy
- School of Public Health
- Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
- Department of Political Science
- Department of American Culture
- Department of History
- Department of Climate and Space Engineering
The summit also featured participants from the following institutions:
- Morehouse College
- Morgan State University
- Xavier University of Louisiana
- Spelman College
- Jackson State University
- University of New Mexico
- Interamerican University of Puerto Rico
Learn more about Rackham’s efforts to promote the strategic development of partnerships between the University of Michigan and MSIs.