The cost of higher education rises year over year, and the state government has not kept pace with the funding it allocates to our public universities. This has left student working more hours, less able to afford the costs of living, and struggling more in their classes. Short-term but impactful measures like offering textbooks through the library, ensuring that faculty post textbooks prior to registration beginning, offering cheap course pack replacements, and pursuing open educational resources and eTextbook options, are common-sense ways to address the issue. We must also work to secure greater higher education funding from Lansing to better support our students.
Create an Emergency Education Fund to support students in purchasing academic necessities during financial emergencies
Textbook affordability (OER for basic classes)
Emergency course pack replacement program
Expand the University of Michigan "Course Reserves" program
Create a Textbook Affordability Advisory Committee
Conduct a textbook affordability survey
Expand the CSP Laptop Loan Program
Expand the iClicker loan program and encourage iClicker app usage in classes
Work with the Registrar and Provost's offices to better enforce the federal law requiring textbooks to be posted prior to registration for classes
More closely monitor the alignment between necessity ratings (“optional” vs. “required”) of textbooks and their actual usage in courses
Fund the purchase of professional exam study books (LSAT, GMAT, GRE, MCAT, PCAT, FE, PE, etc) with the University Career Center to be loaned to students.
Expand the CSP Test Prep program and expand the classes to FE and PE preparation classes.
Create a fund to help defray the cost of taking professional exams (LSAT, GMAT, GRE, MCAT, PCAT, FE, PE, etc.) for Pell Grant-eligible students.
Faculty & Student Recruitment
The University of Michigan DEI plan emphasizes increased racial/ethnic diversity in faculty, administration, and the student body, particularly in Black, Latinx, ME/NA, Asian/Pacific Islander American communities. However, the plan lacks the kind of structural changes and improvements that ensure that diversity remains at the heart of Michigan’s decision-making process long after the five-year DEI plan expires. There are terrific examples within individual schools and colleges here at Michigan and across the country of how to attract students of color, support them in their time here, and graduate them as effective ambassadors for generations of Wolverines yet to come.
Student-led recruitment boards (Like BRRC at UC Berkeley)
More student input in faculty hiring as standard University practice (build on the College of Engineering model)
More funding for programs like PILOT’s Big House Program and MI-T12IBE, Wolverine Pathways, M-STEM Academies, and the Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP)
Increase dual-degree programs with Minority Serving Institutions (like Morehouse-Michigan Engineering and the AUCC program)
Curricula & Services
A top-tier University such as ours must have top-tier services for students, especially because we pride ourselves on academic rigor. We need to make sure that we align the services we offer here to support students' academic pursuits with modern standards, and we need to begin laying the groundwork for the services that the students of tomorrow will need. In doing so, we have to consider the changing demographics of the University and rising undergraduate enrollment, as well as the needs of students here today, to ensure that the Michigan Experience remains the envy of higher education institutions around the world.
Expanded ethnic studies programs, in particular Latina/o Studies, Asian-American Studies, Arab and Muslim American studies.
R&E requirement expansion: each school and college must offer courses at the intersection of society and their area of study. This is a particular priority in the College of Engineering.
Implement University policy encouraging departments to streamline the double major process to allow for more double-counting of classes
Expand the Testing Accommodation Center by increasing SSD funding and encouraging a University commitment to build a new center on North Campus.
Create a General Study Skills Center, a program adopted by every other school in the Big Ten, to aid students in areas like time management, college-level reading, and the various other skills needed to succeed at Michigan.
Release grade distribution data in the new Academic Reporting Toolkit 2.0 platform.
Lower the Final Exam policy for maximum exams in a day from 4 to 3, and more strictly enforce this rule.
Grow the Comprehensive Studies Program, as is called for in the LSA DEI plan, and expand it to other schools.
Ensure that new graduates retain access to critical University services and career resources for at least six months post-graduation.
Ensure that schools that accept undergraduate transfers provide the critical resources to support those students, and, in the short-term, that those students retain an ability to use LS&A resources if their new school or college does not.