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Director's Letter:

Dr. Tabbye Chavous's Introduction & "Diversifying Academia"

Greetings, NCID Community!


I am excited and honored to have recently assumed the role of Director at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. As a Professor of Education and Psychology at Michigan since 1998, I have a deep appreciation of the important role that the NCID has played locally and nationally in addressing issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. I am honored to be a part of generations of academic leaders and scholars at the U-M who have devoted their careers to this important work.
My research and scholarship activities focus on identity development among ethnic minority adolescents and young adults, with special emphases on the roles of educational settings and institutions - at K-12 and college levels - in shaping students’ identities as students and learners, as well as how the climates of educational settings impact all students’ academic motivation, engagement, and success. Most recently, I served as the Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Initiatives at the University’s Rackham Graduate School, where my portfolio included a variety of programmatic efforts to enhance diversity and excellence in graduate education.
Dr. Chavous moderating a panel discussing faculty diversity initatives at the University of Michigan during Dr. Sam Museus's "What Does It Take?" event.
Since this summer, our team has been working to build on NCID's strengths and accomplishments to expand our mission by developing and implementing new priority areas, which support the production of diversity-related research and its use and application in addressing issues in higher education and society. Our recent transition to the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) has created unique opportunities for new partnerships and initiatives that will help us advance our priority areas across all schools and colleges at the U-M and nationally.

For instance, I am pleased to spotlight our "Diversifying Academia" priority area, under which we organize several synergistic activities related to (1) promoting diversity research and scholarship, (2) increasing the representation of scholars from underrepresented demographic and social backgrounds, and (3) building strong networks to support professional development and new, innovative collaborations.
NCID Postdoctoral Fellows on a panel during our "Future of Diversity Research" convening.
As part of this priority area and work, I highlight two key programs that may be valuable to your network. The first is our established NCID Postdoctoral Fellowship, which provides a 1-year position for early career scholars conducting outstanding research focused on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Alumni of this program have gone on to strong faculty and research positions here at U-M and nationally. Second, we are pleased to announce our partnership in the new LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship. The program seeks exceptional early-career scholars committed to diversity in the academy as demonstrated through their research/scholarship, teaching, and/or service. Following a 2-year postdoctoral period, the 50 fellows we recruit over the next 5 years would be prepared for possible direct transition to tenure-track appointments in departments within our University’s College of Literature, Arts, and Sciences.

Finally, I share my gratitude for being so warmly welcomed into the NCID’s local and national communities by so many of you. I look forward to continuing to engage with you and other colleagues and growing our collective capacity to achieve a future of more diverse, equitable, and inclusive contexts, within and beyond higher education. The trying times we have experienced recently and challenges to diversity, equity, and inclusion - in higher education and the broader society - make our work that much more relevant and needed. Further, the incredible talent, passion, and resilience that I have seen from members of our networks and communities gives me confidence that our efforts and success will continue to grow and make a difference.
Tabbye Chavous, PhD, Director
National Center for Institutional Diversity
Professor of Education & Psychology
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The National Center for Institutional Diversity seeks to strengthen and integrate research about diversity, equity, and inclusion in education and society, and to promote its effective use in addressing contemporary issues.
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