University of Michigan Chief Diversity Officer to step down in late 2021

ANN ARBOR, MI – Robert Sellers, the University of Michigan’s chief diversity officer, announced Tuesday that he is stepping down from his role to enable “new leadership, new ideas, new energy and new perspectives.”

After his resignation at the end of 2021, Sellers will remain a permanent faculty member in the Department of Psychology at UM.

“I will be returning to my faculty position and will continue to advocate better access, greater opportunity, and justice for all as best I can,” said Sellers. “I will also work with my successor to ensure a smooth transition to our joint efforts.”

Sellers will seek his successor within the faculty ranks, said UM President Mark Schlissel in an email to the campus community. The university will “not forego the DEI accelerator” during the transition, he said, and anticipates that the next generation of executives will strive to move on to DEI 2.0.

UM is nearing the end of its first five-year cycle of its Strategic Plan for Diversity, Justice and Inclusion, Schlissel said.

“We commend Dr. Sellers and his team at the Diversity, Justice and Inclusion Office,” said Schlissel. “The DEI is a leader across the Ann Arbor campus and the thousands of others who have played a role in creating programs and guidelines over the past several years. As Dr. Sellers often says we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. His work has given us so many new shoulders that push us together to help us achieve our goals. “

During his tenure as chief diversity officer, Sellers helped launch DEI 1.0 – the university’s first five-year strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion, according to a university press release. He has also been a leader in a number of DEI efforts, initiatives and scholarship programs, the press release said.

Seller and his team at the Diversity, Justice and Inclusion Bureau will share last year’s results of DEI 1.0 and announce the evaluation process and one year planning period for DEI 2.0 as per the press release.


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