Committee Charge and Process

Jan. 17, 2020

TO:            Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee

FROM:       Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., President

RE:            Michigan State University Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Planning


Thank you for agreeing to serve on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Steering Committee.  We have an opportunity to build on the momentum of MSU’s successes as we chart a course toward an even brighter future.

Michigan State is an extraordinary institution making a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities across Michigan, the nation, and the world through its planning processes, we can build on our strong foundation. We have the opportunity to strengthen our commitments to live our shared values every day around diversity, equity, and inclusion and to lead by example in being a safe, welcoming, and respectful campus.

A culture embracing diversity, equity and inclusion is essential for all that Michigan State University (MSU) wants to accomplish. A comprehensive planning process around those values will work in collaboration with the strategic planning process while elevating the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion as a foundation for all MSU does.

We must use this moment in the arc of our institution’s journey to inventory efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion across campus, identify potential synergies, pinpoint existing gaps, and establish a framework for making MSU a national leader in this area. In so doing, it will be necessary to examine, among other areas, the composition and success of our faculty, staff and student body; research and scholarship; curriculum and educational programs; community engagement; and the culture our community members live and experience each day. These areas should be evaluated broadly with a focus on social identities, including, but not limited to age, color, disability status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic level and veteran status. 

This process should result in an actionable plan that informs the long term strategic planning of the institution.  To that end, I expect the committee to address the following questions through an open and inclusive process:

  • How will the MSU Community define diversity, equity and inclusion?
  • What does it mean to be a leader nationally in this area?
  • How do we integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into the larger strategic plan?
  • How can we align our valuable resources with our priorities?

As a steering committee, your deliverables will be to:

  • Produce a university-wide inventory of DEI efforts and initiatives
  • Aggregate feedback across campus and from alumni and external partners
  • Review and highlight best practices and insights on DEI efforts from benchmarking
  • Identify and recommend metrics, central and unit based, to measure on-going progress for DEI across MSU; as well as unit/role accountability for DEI initiatives and outcomes across MSU
  • Make recommendations for a Strategic DEI Planning Process for the university, with short-term, mid-range and long-term action items and goals, with the end goal of making MSU a national leader in this area

We must all work together to advance diversity, equity and inclusion through every part of our university, and hold ourselves accountable for prioritizing this work, adopting initiatives to advance our progress and achieving meaningful results.

Principles for Planning Process

Lists principles for DEI planning process.


Additional principles for the DEI planning process