The Michigan Difference

Robert Sellers, Senior Vice Provost

Since my first days here as a graduate student, I have been impressed by the multi-faceted, comprehensive nature of the University of Michigan—in teaching, research and resources. I soon learned that the people who make up our community of scholars constitute the University’s most critical asset.

A stop at a campus coffee shop is an adventure into the vast world beyond campus, surrounded by faces, colloquialisms, and accents from 82 of the 83 counties of the state of Michigan; every one of the 50 states of these United States along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Armed Forces in Europe and the Pacific; and 120 countries of the world.

This website, Diversity Matters at Michigan, will help you explore the University’s diversity. It provides an express lane into our inclusive environment, in and out of the classroom, on- and off-campus.

Classroom discussions on history, philosophy, sociology, public policy, and any number of other disciplines are enhanced by differing points of view, beliefs and life experiences.

We all—faculty included—learn far more in an environment that percolates with this sort of energy, this breadth of intellectual and cultural knowledge.

That is why U-M is ranked the best American public university by the QS World University Rankings in 2014 (most recent available). In addition to strength in research and teaching, which many universities have, excellence at this level requires the active engagement of every member of our academic community, contributing ideas and opinions. These interactions help everyone approach things from a perspective that’s new, not immediately familiar, or even comfortable, but informative in every sense of the word.

As U-M President Mark S. Schlissel said on his Inauguration day in September 2014, “In today’s hyper-connected world, our graduates at some point will be exposed to people and ideas they find foreign, difficult to understand, or outright disagreeable. Learning how to engage with such people and worldviews is one of the most essential skills we can teach. And who will teach them if not us?”

And what better environment to learn than in one as cosmopolitan and inclusive as ours?

I encourage you to explore the resources on this site to conduct your exploration of this irreplaceable asset.

Robert M. Sellers
Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion and Academic Affairs
Charles D. Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology
Professor of Education
Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics