Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan

Inclusive Excellence

At the University of Montana, inclusive excellence is not just a strategic goal we choose to continually pursue but also an ongoing moral imperative, an ethical obligation, and a matter of institutional survival. As a public-serving institution committed to access and equal opportunity, UM must continually design itself to foster inclusive prosperity for all, a goal that is inextricably linked to our aspiration to be a flagship for the future.

UM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan

UM’S Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan (DEI Plan) grows out of the thoughtful and multi-year efforts of UM staff, faculty, administrators, and students. The plan aims to identify the equity gaps unique to our institution, to flag the policies and practices that contribute to these gaps, and to implement new policies and practices that will bridge them.

Accomplishing this requires that we embrace the twin perspectives of the way things are and the way things could be.

Ongoing Planning and Action

This iteration of UM’s DEI Plan represents our informed ideas at this moment, ideas that will benefit from additional voices, further research, and expert assessment. We will therefore revise the plan over time as we learn and include new perspectives and understandings in its design.

Organized by UM’s Five Priorities for Action, the plan outlines key institutional objectives, strategies, and actions. While some of the identified actions in this plan will be immediately feasible, others will take more time, capacity, and financial resources to implement. By naming the actions that will take more time to accomplish, we hold ourselves accountable to the direction we want to head.

Visibility and Integration

To ensure visibility and full integration into institutional efforts, the DEI Plan’s near-term actions will be referenced in UM’s annually updated playbook of institutional priorities. The more detailed DEI Plan will identify accountable owners who will, on a regular cadence, report out on their progress to the Diversity Advisory Council and to university leadership. The DEI Plan will be annually updated to reflect progress and needed adjustments. This annual progress will be shared with the community.

Equity and inclusion at UM will not be achieved through just one person or office; rather, this plan aims to provide a blueprint for cultivating an equity-minded, inclusive standard across the institution.

Overview of UM's DEI Plan

PRIORITY FOR ACTION #1: PLACE STUDENT SUCCESS AT THE CENTER OF ALL WE DO

OBJECTIVE 1.1: RETAIN AND SUPPORT A DIVERSE STUDENT POPULATION THROUGH STRATEGIC PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT

OBJECTIVE 1.2: RETAIN AND SUPPORT A DIVERSE STUDENT POPULATION THROUGH ENHANCED TRAINING AND CLEAR REPORTING OPTIONS

OBJECTIVE 1.3: RETAIN AND SUPPORT A DIVERSE STUDENT POPULATION THROUGH TARGETED ACHIEVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND HARDSHIP MITIGATION EFFORTS

OBJECTIVE 1.4: RETAIN AND SUPPORT A DIVERSE STUDENT POPULATION THROUGH INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY-BUILDING AND IDENTITY-BASED RESOURCES

PRIORITY FOR ACTION #2: DRIVE EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN TEACHING, LEARNING, AND RESEARCH

OBJECTIVE 2.1: ENCOURAGE DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION IN TEACHING PRACTICES, CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT, AND UNIVERSITY CITIZENSHIP

OBJECTIVE 2.2: ENCOURAGE DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION THROUGH RESEARCH AND CREATIVE SCHOLARSHIP

PRIORITY FOR ACTION #3: EMBODY THE PRINCIPLE OF "MISSION FIRST, PEOPLE ALWAYS"

OBJECTIVE 3.1: INCREASE DIVERSITY OF EMPLOYEE POPULATION THROUGH STRATEGIC RECRUITMENT, HIRING, AND PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITY

OBJECTIVE 3.2: RETAIN A DIVERSE EMPLOYEE POPULATION BY CREATING A CULTURALLY COMPETENT AND SUPPORTIVE WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT

PRIORITY FOR ACTION #4: PARTNER WITH PLACE

OBJECTIVE 4.1: INCREASE ACCESS TO PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES FOR HISTORICALLY UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS IN THE REGION

OBJECTIVE 4.2: DEEPEN, STRENGTHEN, AND ELEVATE PREEXISTING PARTNERSHIPS WITH REGIONAL INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

OBJECTIVE 4.3: PARTNER WITH LOCAL AND REGIONAL DEI-FOCUSED ORGANIZATIONS TO CONNECT AND SUPPORT UNDERREPRESENTED INDIVIDUALS WITHIN AND BETWEEN UM AND IN THE COMMUNITY

OBJECTIVE 4.4: PARTNER WITH LOCAL AND REGIONAL EMPLOYERS TO PROVIDE MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS

PRIORITY FOR ACTION #5: PROUDLY TELL THE UM STORY

OBJECTIVE 5.1: TELL THE UM STORY TO RECRUIT UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS THROUGH STRATEGIC OUTREACH AND MARKETING

OBJECTIVE 5.2: TELL THE UM STORY TO RECRUIT UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS BY CULTIVATING, ELEVATING, AND CELEBRATING UM'S DIVERSITY

OBJECTIVE 5.3: RECRUIT UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS THROUGH TARGETED BARRIER MITIGATION