Faculty News

Year in Review: Presidential Initiatives

“There simply is no university better suited to advance the highest ideals of what a public research university should be.” – President Mark S. Schlissel

The University of Michigan’s presidential initiatives align with our institutional mission of continuous excellence, engagement, and public impact by helping to address societal challenges and enriching lives in our community and beyond. While the COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges this year, initiatives such as Poverty Solutions, Sustainability, Precision Health, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion continued to help address the needs of our community and provide resources to navigate unprecedented times. With more than 300 posts published through U-M social media channels highlighting the presidential initiatives, UMSocial and Public Engagement are committed to elevating the vital work being conducted at U-M.

Here are some highlights from the year:


Poverty Solutions launched its first virtual series, “The Poverty Narrative: A Midwest Perspective,” dedicated to a deeper understanding of poverty in the US, specifically in the midwest. The series featured experts discussing poverty issues and exploring strategies for translating complex research and engaging with communities.


The Fall Speaker Series invited a wide range of guests to discuss strategies to combat poverty, including state officials leading Michigan’s COVID-19 response, mayors from across the country, and leading scholars and authors. 



With the success of the university’s campuswide efforts to move toward zero waste, U-M placed first in the large-campus division, a new category this year. 

The Virtual Earthfest celebration highlighted various virtual opportunities to learn more about sustainability on campus and within the community. 



The Precision Health Virtual Symposium featured speakers and researchers exploring the latest research in the multidisciplinary field of precision health.

Efforts to encouraged researchers to index their COVID-19 research.


Ryan Perry, U-M junior, and Jumanah Saadeh, U-M graduate student, discuss being a part of the Student Advisory Planning Group that plans the DEI Summit, and what intersectionality means to them and incorporating intersectionality into advocacy work.

The 2020 DEI Summit, “Arts + Social Change: Building an Anti-Racist World through the Arts,” highlighted the intersection of art and social justice and encouraged people to use their voices and talents as mechanisms for change.