News Release

Diversity, equity and inclusion continues to drive many U of M strategic goals

University of Minnesota

As the University continues to advance dozens of goals outlined in MPact 2025, the U of M’s systemwide strategic plan, leaders from its Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) will discuss next week how OED supports successes among the plan’s many diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)-focused objectives. The discussion with the Board of Regents on Friday begins a multi-meeting series on the topic.

While DEI is a theme consistently found throughout MPact 2025, one of the plan’s five overarching commitments is wholly dedicated to DEI-related outcomes—Commitment 4, Community & Belonging. Given the high importance and broad scope of this work, addressing the University’s strategic goals first required extensive analysis and consultation to identify existing programs, as well as potential gaps that create persistent barriers.

With the help of Cambridge Hill Partners, OED led a systemwide review during the 2021-22 academic year and identified more than 1,000 DEI-focused activities and initiatives. While this volume clearly reflects the University commitment to these ideals, this review also suggested that programs could be better connected, that some could be re-focused for greater impact on intended audiences and that ongoing program measurement and analysis could be enhanced.

In highlighting some of the review’s findings and recommendations, OED leadership will outline four pathways to drive systemwide actions and achieve MPact 2025 goals. 

  • Develop a DEI strategic plan, guided by key insights and questions from the review.
  • Build coordination infrastructure to better connect and scale current initiatives, and to encourage ongoing collaboration.
  • Support faculty and staff retention and wellness through collaborative planning, implementation of best practices, and continued engagement and review of progress.
  • Reorganize the Office for Equity and Diversity to strengthen strategic thought leadership and increase capacity and consistency systemwide.

The final report is expected to be publicly released later this year. Additionally, the University released a progress report last summer that describes how the University is advancing diversity, equity and inclusion: 2022 Progress Report: Representation, Climate and Partnership.

As part of its October meetings, the Board is also expected to:

  • Welcome new Vice President for Research Shashank Priya. His appointment began on Sept. 30. 
  • Act on University President Joan Gabel’s recommended legislative budget request for the 2024-25 biennium. 
  • Act on Gabel’s recommended six-year capital plan.
  • Discuss progress toward MPact 2025 enrollment goals with leadership from U of M Morris, the second in a series of discussions with the University’s five campuses.
  • Receive an update on trends, opportunities and challenges in graduate education in a presentation from Scott Lanyon, dean of graduate education.
  • Review Board of Regents Policy: Commercialization of Intellectual Property Rights with Priya and Rick Huebsch, executive director of the U of M Technology Commercialization team.
  • Continue conversations about the Board’s public engagement approach, particularly how community input is invited and collected and how information is publicly shared.

For more information, including future meeting times, visit

Media Contacts

Jake Ricker

University Public Relations