THE VALUE OF DIVERSITY

The University of Michigan Senate Assembly, the elected governing body of the faculty, believes that the goals of an institution of higher learning should be to generate new knowledge, to convey knowledge to others, and to involve its faculty, students, and staff in using this knowledge to address contemporary social problems. For the University to excel in reaching these goals, the rich diversity of contemporary society is a resource that needs to be tapped. Not only does the education of students from diverse backgrounds itself address societal problems, but collaborative efforts within the University among persons with diverse experiences and points of view can facilitate the development of new ideas in traditional areas of our intellectual enterprise and help us to formulate creative solutions to societal problems. Civility in discourse and the generation of mutual empathy among diverse parties are crucial to the effectiveness of this process.

Our commitment to diversity means at the most basic level a willingness both to recognize the value of disparate experiences and visions and to weave them into the fabric of our institution. Because of this, we are committed to a policy of recruiting and maintaining a culturally and racially diverse student body and faculty that are representative of contemporary society, and to assuring that these diverse influences are respected and incorporated into the structure of the university. In this way, we can provide students with the unique educational experience and intellectual stimulation that can only come from interacting with and learning to respect a broad range of people with differing backgrounds, life experiences, beliefs, and ideas.

In order for the university to retain its leadership role within the educational community, it must continue and expand upon these efforts to reach out and include all who comprise our diverse society in order to engage effectively its students, faculty, and staff with the major societal problems of the present and future. It is only through such a commitment that the University of Michigan can positively and effectively influence the future of American education and the world of the twenty-first century.



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