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Diversity Summit UMass Chan Medical School

Diversity Summit Updates

UMMS “Diversity Summit” IV Initiative

A Process to Implement the Ten Recommendations of the Executive Council’s
Ad Hoc Work Group on Underrepresented Minorities in Academic Health Sciences

Our medical school community is in a robust, multi-year, and multi-faceted commitment to improving and sustaining a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment for all members of our academic health sciences center. In 2018, we engaged the expertise of Reos Partners, a global leader in the art and science of systematic culture change, to guide us in the next phase of the work emanating from the three Diversity Summits held in 2016 and 2017. This initiative, Building a More Inclusive Culture, is in three phases: deep discovery and design; culture building; and integration, and sustaining. We are currently in phase two: culture building.

To date, Reos Partners has facilitated or convened:

  • 28 interviews with students, faculty, staff, and administrators (August-October 2018)
  • A stakeholder meeting with 29 participants comprised of faculty, staff, students, and administrators (September 11, 2018)
  • Two “capacity building” meetings with members of the Council on Equal Opportunity and Diversity and DIO staff (January-February 2019)
  • Collaborative review of CEOD and DIO staff recommendations (January-February 2019)
  • Sessions with 15 students from three schools (March 2019)
  • Collaborative review of student recommendations (March 2019)
  • Presentation of Phase 2 Initial Recommendations Report to Diversity Summit Implementation Group (April 25, 2019)

The initial report includes 12 recommendations—

Faculty, Staff, Administrator Recommendations:

  1. Operationalize the mission and accountability
  2. Create a welcoming environment
  3. Strengthen professional development
  4. Support a culture of respect initiative
  5. Communications and transparency
  6. Building a community from the ground up

Student Recommendations:

  1. Open forums
  2. Diversity calendar*
  3. More diversity recruitment efforts*
  4. Cultural competence training for students, staff, and faculty*
  5. Student support structure
  6. Accountability measures

*acknowledged as initiatives already underway

During the April 25, 2019 meeting of the Diversity Summit Implementation Committee, the twelve recommendations have been prioritized as follows:

  1. Operationalizing the mission
  2. Support and resource a “culture of respect” initiative
  3. Communications and transparency
  4. More active diversity and recruitment efforts

The Diversity Summit IV was on September 17, 2019. The team from Reos Partners helped us in completing phase two: culture building and the work of phase three: integration and sustaining. During the next Diversity Summit, we will review the work of the first two phases and explore the implementation of the prioritized recommendations.  Ultimately, at the completion of the project we expect to see the following:

  1. Creation of new and expanded relationships throughout the institution, comprised of a stronger cohort of the UMMS community willing to work on building and sustaining an emerging inclusive culture.
  2. A clearer understanding of what contributes to feelings of inclusion and exclusion and a pathway to a more inclusive culture.
  3. Expanded capacity and support for testing and implementing changes with the potential to transform structures, processes, and relationships.

We recognize that this effort is a continuous improvement process. Important progress has already been achieved and we are encouraged by the number of faculty, staff, and students who have been actively engaged in this work. Thank you for your continued commitment to building a more inclusive UMMS culture. If you have any questions or feedback, please address them to

Related Links:

      Link to Recommendations

Prioritization Report

Diversity Summit III Agenda

Diversity Summit III Overall Summary

Diversity Summit II