Partnering to Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: MTU, University of the District of Columbia Pursue New MOU

The Michigan Tech campus and Husky statue covered in snow during winter
The Michigan Tech campus and Husky statue covered in snow during winter
Michigan Tech and the University of the District of Columbia have entered a memorandum of understanding to help create a well-rounded 21st century workforce.

Michigan Technological University and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) have signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) focused on the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and sense of belonging (DEIS).

With the shared understanding that DEIS contributes to a thriving and innovative workforce and society, Michigan Tech and UDC inked an MOU that empowers both universities to tap into each other’s strengths and expertise. The agreement was signed Feb. 3 at UDC’s Van Ness Campus.

The MOU’s scope includes:

  • Student exchanges and graduate study articulations
  • Faculty collaborations and visiting professorships
  • Joint funding proposals and philanthropy

Under the MOU, Michigan Tech will also provide mentorship in helping UDC attain R2 status within the Carnegie Classification system for research universities. In return, UDC will provide cultural responsiveness mentorship to MTU.

“We are thrilled to partner with a leading historically Black land-grant university such as UDC,” said Wayne Gersie, vice president for diversity and inclusion at Michigan Tech. “We honor the academic strength and value UDC and other historically Black colleges and universities bring, not only to Michigan Tech, but to global research and the global economy.”

“The contrast between our locations, combined with our similarities as publicly funded institutions, creates synergy ripe with potential,” Gersie continued. “This partnership will create many convergent opportunities where each university’s mission and vision will extend beyond our local communities and have national and global impact. Moving forward, we hope this relationship can be a benchmark for institutions to model.”

According to UDC President Ronald Mason Jr., the MOU is an incredible opportunity for both universities to expand their global reach.

“We look forward to seeing how our partnership impacts not only our respective schools but the world,” he said. “This collaboration is a collective commitment to go beyond common boundaries.”

“With this MOU, MTU and UDC embark on a new venture that will enhance both institutions, along with our faculty and students, as we walk together on the Road to R2 by 2024 and in the spirit of UDC’s current strategic plan: The Equity Imperative,” said Victor R. McCrary, UDC’s vice president for research.

The MOU encourages individual colleges and departments within each university to collaborate on mutually supportive endeavors. Colleges, departments and faculty will be able to create their own sub-agreements underneath the MOU umbrella. The universities intend to grow the partnership into a consortium of higher education institutions.

About the University of the District of Columbia
The only public university in the nation’s capital and the only exclusively urban land-grant university in the United States, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is a historically Black university committed to a broad mission of education, research and community service. Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, UDC offers workforce training, professional certification and more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees designed to create opportunities for student success. UDC comprises a College of Arts and Sciences; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; School of Business and Public Administration; College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences; Community College; the David A. Clarke School of Law; and Division of Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning. 

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.