U-M’s New ‘Chief Diversity Officer’ Will Collect $385,000 per Year

Derek Draplin, Michigan Capitol Confidential, October 28, 2016

The University of Michigan’s new chief diversity officer will collect $385,000 a year under his various job titles, including a new one created by a recently revealed $85 million, five-year U-M diversity plan.

Robert Sellers’ appointment to a new position called “vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer” (VPEI-CDO) was approved Oct. 20 by the university’s governing board. Sellers previously served as “vice provost for equity and inclusion,” and is also listed as a professor of both psychology and education. In 2014-15 Sellers was paid $347,295 in his capacity as vice provost, a position created in 2014.

President Mark Schlissel nominated Sellers for the job several weeks ago. The new full-time administrative position “will serve as a leadership voice on diversity, equity and inclusion for the entire university.”

The diversity plan Sellers will oversee will spend $17 million a year over the next five years. It seeks to “recruit, retain and develop a diverse university community” and “support innovation and inclusive scholarship and teaching” through a number of new and expanded programs.

The $85 million plan is in addition to the $40 million a year the university already spends promoting diversity.

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