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Respect in Striving for Excellence (RISE)

The RISE Committee offers resources, programming, and community-building opportunities that focus on building respect and inclusion in academic workplace climates.

What is RISE?

The RISE Committee is a group of faculty and staff working to support climates of respect and inclusion within academic units. It began in Fall 2018 as part of a pilot initiative funded by the Provost’s Office to improve the workplace climate of academic units. The RISE Committee offers in-depth and cross-disciplinary discussions of relevant higher education climate research, practices, and interventions. The need for earnest attention to university climate issues is urgent as the COVID era persists and university constituents begin returning to in-person activities. Identity-based inequalities continue to be exacerbated by the pandemic and other crises. It is more important than ever to thoughtfully explore practices for creating inclusive, respectful spaces–whether they be virtual, physical, or hybrid. With this in mind, RISE offers a range of opportunities and resources to help our community continue the conversation on climate in this ever-changing academic landscape.

Climate Case Studies

The U-M ADVANCE Program’s RISE Committee offers a series of resources, the Climate Case Studies, to support university leaders as they work to create more respectful, inclusive climates in their units. Each case study is centered around a common climate issue, with a list of ideas for how to approach the issue and concrete examples of what each approach might look like–all organized around RISE’s Eight Levers to Foster Respect and Inclusion.

**Note: We recognize that the approaches shared in the Climate Case Studies will not work for everyone or in every context. Many factors, including the power dynamics of the unit, the social identities of the individuals involved, and external circumstances, affect the way a challenging climate issue might be addressed. We acknowledge that several of the approaches assume a particular leadership role and a certain amount of agency/power within the unit that do not reflect everyone’s experience.**

New Release!

Resistance to They/Them Pronouns

Climate Case Study #9

A Climate Supportive of Disability

Climate Case Study #8

Distribution of Labor

Climate Case Study #7

Diversity and Excellence

Climate Case Study #6

Racially-motivated Threat

Climate Case Study #5

Interrupting a Bad Actor

Climate Case Study #4

Proactive New Leader

Climate Case Study #3

Unit-wide Email Blow-up

Climate Case Study #2

Resistance to Mentoring Responsibilities

Climate Case Study #1


Raising Respect: A Workshop for Campus Leaders: A cross-disciplinary, highly interactive workshop for campus leaders (broadly defined) interested in developing a unit climate where all people feel respected, supported, and valued. This workshop is evidence-based and action-oriented, presenting both data and concrete strategies. The first segment presents a framework for climate and then reviews research, conducted at U-M and beyond, to make a case for caring about respectful workplace climates. The remainder of the workshop is an interactive discussion addressing how leaders can actively cultivate more respectful and inclusive climates in their units. This workshop has been thoroughly redesigned for virtual delivery in AY20-21. Participants interact using chat-based activities, polls, and breakout rooms. In real time, we work through climate challenge scenarios that are particularly relevant for campus leaders right now. Participants also leave the event with access to the “Raising Respect” video series and other digital climate resources to take back to their units.

Climate Coffee: Sharing Climate Issues: An event series of informal conversations for participants to engage with each other on ways to improve the climate for respect and inclusion in their units. Climate Coffees are an opportunity to brainstorm more focused applications of the climate-shifting frameworks from the “Raising Respect” workshop. Attendees gather in small groups for guided discussion and problem-solving around a specific issue they are facing in their unit. Sessions are 60 minutes, and registration is limited to allow for individualized attention.

Climate Resources

Eight Levers to Shift Climate for Respect and Inclusion

What can you do to improve the climate in your unit? This handout from RISE’s “Raising Respect” workshop outlines eight focus areas for acting to improve climate.

Campus Climate Resources for Faculty

An evolving list of climate-related resources for U-M faculty that includes both individual and unit-level offerings. Learn what programs and services are available for faculty who are grappling with campus climate issues and/or working to improve the climate of their unit(s). [Updated September 2020]

RISE Reference List

A list of works on climate issues, written by experts from the fields of Psychology, Business, Women’s Studies, Education, and more.

Developing Anti-Harassment Programs in Academic Societies and Meetings: A Resource Guide

The University of Michigan ADVANCE Program has compiled this information as a resource for those wishing to develop an anti-harassment program within their own scholarly or scientific society, meeting, or other professional setting.

Frequently Asked Questions: Retention of Science and Engineering Faculty Who are Women and/or Members of Racial/Ethnic Minorities

FAQ designed to give guidance re: climate and its effect on the retention of faculty that are women and/or members of racial/ethnic minorities.

Creating a Positive Departmental Climate: Principles for Best Practices

Important general principles of effective leadership.

Creating Work-Life Friendly Departments

Handbook created to show how policies, resources, and cultures that are work-life friendly are key to the University of Michigan for the recruitment, promotion, and retention of top scholars.

ADVANCE Climate Studies

The U-M ADVANCE Program aims to improve our campus environment for faculty in four general areas: recruitment, retention, leadership, and climate. The ADVANCE Program assesses the campus climate through a series of campus-wide faculty surveys as well as individualized assessments of schools and departments.

RISE Together Messages

In an effort to facilitate a virtual community for campus leaders grappling with issues of climate, we shared resources, tips, and words of encouragement. RISE Together messages provided quick, actionable recommendations, helpful resources, and positive directions related to climate–all based on a theme from the Eight Levers to Shift Climate for Respect and Inclusion.

What are People Saying about RISE?

In the current time where we are all struggling with the strains of academia and issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, the RISE training is critical for providing leaders with new and innovative tools. What is key about this training is that it is accessible and easy to quickly implement in day to day leadership and in creating overarching change in a working group. I think a greater understanding of these ideas will help build respectful and inclusive climates at University of Michigan. — Kanakadurga Singer, Pediatric Endocrinology, Michigan Medicine
The Raising Respect workshop is a powerful and tremendously engaging experience that goes straight to the heart of how to effect positive changes in climate within academia. Grounded in science, the workshop provides actionable strategies that academic leaders can use and tailor to the needs of their units. — Noel Perkins, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
I was very impressed by the RISE Committee workshop I attended last term. It was fast-paced, highly informative, and admirably focused on concrete strategies for fostering a climate of respect and reducing the incidence of interpersonal conflict and injury in complex academic units. My only regret was that I didn’t have the benefit of this session at the start of my term as chair. — David Porter, Professor and Department Chair, English Language and Literature, College of LSA

My nearly two years as a member of the RISE Committee was a very meaningful experience. I enjoyed working with the committee to better understand the climate issues we possess and ways that we could address them. I personally have learned much about the importance of climate, and its impact on happiness, productivity, retention, and organizational success. The dedication and enthusiasm of the RISE Committee gives me great hope for the future of climate at Michigan! — Todd Austin, Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering

RISE Committee

RISE Committee members are senior faculty and staff drawn from across campus.

Sara Armstrong

Director, CRLT Theatre Program

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Eric Bell


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Lilia Cortina

Psychology, Women's and Gender Studies

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Vincent Hutchings

Political Science

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Carolyn Kuranz

Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering

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Yeşim Orhun

Business Administration, Information

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Robin Queen

Linguistics, English Language and Literatures, Germanic Languages and Literatures

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Denise Sekaquaptewa

ADVANCE Director, Psychology, LSA

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Chris Torres


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Kelsey Arras

ADVANCE Staff Member

Former RISE Committee Members

  • Todd Austin, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Tom Braun, Biostatistics
  • Cynthia Hudgins, ADVANCE Associate Director of Administration
  • Jennifer Linderman, Chemical Engineering; Biomedical Engineering
  • Isis Settles, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Gretchen Spreitzer, Management and Organizations, Business Administration
  • Ruby Tapia, English and Women’s and Gender Studies

ADVANCE Program Address

University of Michigan
1214 S. University Avenue
2nd Floor, Suite C - Galleria Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2592

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