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Home » Rackham Life » Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion » Faculty Allies for Diversity in Graduate Education

Faculty Allies for Diversity in Graduate Education

Through its Faculty Allies for Diversity initiative, Rackham Graduate School supports its goal of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within graduate programs. Rackham asks that every department involved in graduate training identify at least one faculty member to serve as Faculty Ally, who will lead efforts to strengthen DEI for graduate students and serve as the point person(s) for diversity matters in their program. Faculty Allies for Diversity are a group of faculty members who partner with Rackham to improve recruitment, admissions, climate, retention, and student success in relation to DEI. Faculty Allies play a crucial leadership role in their programs and, as a collective, advance our broader university mission around promoting diversity and excellence.

Rackham Faculty Allies offers two major forms of support for Faculty Allies and their graduate programs. First, it convenes a learning-community workshop series (with two sessions each semester) that explores topics such as how race structures the academy, unconscious bias, inequity in program practices and pedagogy, and strategies for dialogue across difference. Recognizing that participation in this learning community requires time and engagement beyond a normal service assignment, Rackham is able to provide a modest research stipend to each Faculty Ally who participates in at least three out of four sessions over the course of the academic year.

Second, the Rackham Faculty Allies Program gives grants of up to $20,000 a year for Faculty Allies to develop activities, events, or structural changes in their programs that improve diversity, equity, and inclusion among all graduate students.

There is no single set of responsibilities for all Faculty Allies. In many cases, the Faculty Ally role includes:

  • Working with program leadership to raise awareness, share concerns, and advise around diversity issues
  • Providing direct support to students, serving as a formal or informal advisor around academic, professional, and/or personal issues in a safe, understanding context
  • Leading and/or coordinating with Diversity Committees in their programs, often made up of faculty, students, and staff
  • Collaborating with student organizations to gather information about program community members’ experiences and concerns
  • Collaborating with various program members—program leadership, faculty, students, staff, and/or alumni—to develop diversity-related activities and innovations related to recruitment, admissions, creating a high quality, inclusive climate, and retention and completion
  • Participating in the Rackham Faculty Allies learning community workshops on academic culture and effective diversity practices (in recruitment, admissions, teaching and mentoring, etc.); sharing information learned with program leadership, colleagues, and students
  • Working (often in collaboration with colleagues) to develop a Faculty Allies for Diversity Grant proposal to support new ideas for enhancing diversity

Although much of a Faculty Ally’s efforts occur within their program communities, Faculty Allies play a leadership role in advancing DEI goals on the U-M campus. Collectively, they constitute a learning community, connecting with and drawing on one another for information, ideas and strategies, and support. The names and affiliations of the Faculty Allies for Diversity are listed below.

To learn more about the Faculty Allies program, including becoming an Ally or nominating an Ally for your program, please contact rackfacultyallies@umich.edu..

 

Directory of Faculty Allies