This is an exciting time for the University of Michigan. On Oct. 6, following a year-long planning process, we launched our five-year strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion. With the announcement of the plan, we signified our renewed pledge for creating an inclusive and equitable campus and developing a diverse university community.
Take chances. Take the job other people don’t want and make a success out of it. Get your hands dirty. Listen to those who can mentor you and save you from repeating mistakes made by others.
These are the lessons I learned while earning my MBA at the Ross School of Business that have served me well through the turns of my 20-year career in the food service, consumer products, technology and retail arenas with companies including The Coca-Cola Company, KFC, Intel and, today, Cinnabon.
Numerous buildings on campus honor presidents who created this university, including Henry Tappan, James Angell, Harlan Hatcher, Harold Shapiro and James Duderstadt. Others commemorate donors including William Cook, Horace Rackham, Stephen Ross and Alfred Taubman. More than a few are named for coaches or athletic directors, including Fielding Yost, Fritz Crisler, Ray Fisher and Bo Schemblecher. Others honor faculty members such as Emil Lorch and Mortimer Cooley.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency admitted it should have acted seven months earlier in the Flint water crisis, which began in April 2014 and is ongoing. Lead poisoning and outbreaks of bacterial diseases following the city’s switch to the Flint River as its water source have had lasting, irreversible impacts to human health.
A month ago, a guy at a party turned to me and said, “I don’t know your name, so I’m going to call you sugar tits.” Just three weeks ago, a recording of Donald Trump lauding his power to grab women “by the pussy” surfaced. One in four women on college campuses are survivors of sexual assault. It is frustratingly clear that gender inequalities persist in our world.
One of the most likely ways your friend, peer, student or child will die in college is by suicide. Though researchers at the University of Virginia have found that college students are less likely to commit suicide than those of the same age (18 to 24) in the general population, suicide is responsible for more student deaths than alcohol use.
Earlier this month, a Walmart executive gave a surprising campus talk. Chief Sustainability Officer Kathleen McLaughlin outlined how the company is raising wages, reexamining relationships in its supply chain to limit environmental degradation and working in communities to broaden economic opportunity.