Go to the U of M home page

Monday, September 28, 2020

DEI summit, actions, and focus areas

On August 26, over 80 CLA staff and faculty members gathered virtually for our first annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Summit. The event, originally scheduled for March, was a coming together of departmental DEI committee members and representatives from every department and unit at CLA. The summit aimed to help connect resources and colleagues, discuss what has been successful in departmental DEI work, what challenges departments face in this space, and what the college could do to assist departmental DEI efforts. A similar summit will be held for CLA administrative units in October. 

Thirteen small groups discussed these questions and reported back to the larger group. A document collating the group conversations is now online, and I encourage you to take a look in whichever way and to whatever depth you’d like. There is a lot of lived experience and creative thinking to explore in the document. Let me know what resonates and what strikes you as action steps that CLA should consider. CLA’s leadership team will be reading through all of the group reports to identify some key themes for action.

Friday, September 18, 2020

First glance at fall enrollment numbers and welcoming new faculty

I hope that your transition into the fall semester has gone reasonably smoothly. Many of the issues we’ve wrestled with over the late spring and summer to get ready for the fall have now settled into the routine of the fall semester, if one can label anything “routine” these days. Students moved into the residence halls this week and previously scheduled in-person classes that were moved to online or remote status for the first two weeks of the semester will begin to meet in person on Monday. 

Over the course of the summer, concerns about student enrollment in the fall were elevated around the country given the unusual nature of instruction and the college experience during the pandemic. This concern was true for us in CLA as well. Although we won’t have the official University reporting until after the 10th day of instruction, here’s how things are looking at the moment. Currently, first-year enrollment is at about 2400, which is 150 below the target we were aiming for. (A little history: CLA’s target had been 2450 prior to this year but based on our solid recruiting over the past five years we advocated successfully in summer 2019 to increase the target to 2550 for the incoming fall 2020 class. I don’t recall “but what about the pandemic” being on our agenda for that meeting, alas.) For transfer students, the college is currently at about 1125 new students, which is 125 lower than our target. The college also granted around 130 requests for a delayed start by one semester or one year. Those 130 students are in addition to the 3525 first-year and transfer students mentioned above. I will report on graduate student recruitment and enrollment in a future message.