ALA 264 - Interdisciplinary Topics in ALA
Winter 2017, Section 001 - 22 Ways to Do Diversity Plans in Higher Ed: A Multidisciplinary Examination
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Applied Liberal Arts (ALA)
Department: LSA UG: Curriculum Support
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Requirements & Distribution:
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


This multidisciplinary course uses the planning and implementation processes of the University of Michigan's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan as a hands-on case study to explore the ways that universities seek to institutionalize demands for greater access for underrepresented populations and a more inclusive environment for all of its constituencies.

Each week we will hear from a different invited speaker with expertise in the specific topic under consideration, including the historical context of diversity plans and how they do (or do not) confront institutional legacies of discrimination and exclusion; the instability within the language of diversity and how it might be juxtaposed to demands for social justice; the economics of diversity planning; the crucial role of leadership; and the potential for the arts to open up new avenues for engagement, among others.

[Note: Some invited presenters will be part of a speakers series being organized under the theme “Interrogating Diversity” and culminating in a campus symposium. The series and the symposium will look at both national and global discourses around diversity and will consider the goals of diversity versus other forms of governmental and corporate inclusion.]

Students are expected to do readings and use a variety documents that will help to contextualize and connect the weekly class meetings. There will also be a non-public class blog that we will collectively produce and that will operate as a running commentary on the class. Throughout the semester students will work in teams to do a critical assessment of an aspect of the University of Michigan’s DEI plan and/or the plan of one of the U-M’s schools or colleges. The final projects must incorporate concrete proposals for implementation. Students will display their findings in a special poster session to which senior administrators and faculty and students from around the College and the university will be invited.

By the end of the course students should be able to critically define diversity and to have an understanding of the concept from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Students should also be able to understand key concepts around strategic planning and decision-making, and should be able to cogently present, explain and defend ideas for institutional implementation.

Course Requirements:

Class participation, five-to-seven graded blog posts/responses, development of a semester-long project, and participation in final poster session.

Intended Audience:

This course is designed with sophomores in mind, especially those who are actively exploring options for their majors and minors, but undergraduates at all levels are welcome. As a course within the "Applied Liberal Arts” curriculum, it is also designed for LSA students who seek to put their liberal arts education into action and to build a set of transferable skills applicable to a variety of majors and career aspirations.


ALA 264 - Interdisciplinary Topics in ALA
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
F 1:00PM - 4:00PM
002 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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