Ronald A. Wilson, J.D.
Dr. Kathleen Dailey
The Inclusive Excellence Framework reaffirms EU’s commitment to growing and sustaining a diverse and inclusive learning, living, and working environment. The University strives to be a 21st century learning community defined by excellence through the affirmation of differences in the composition of its leadership, faculty, staff, and students; the configuration of its policies, procedures, organizational structures, curricula, and co-curricular programs; and the fabric of its interpersonal relationships. This diversity framework expresses a plan for enacting the University’s larger mission and for its values. The plan is shaped by EU’s core values: excellence, curiosity, respect and integrity. The plan outlined here is aligned with the University’s goals articulated in the University Strategic Plan.
Inclusive Excellence is a framework designed to help campuses integrate diversity and quality efforts. As a model, Inclusive Excellence assimilates diversity efforts into the core of institutional functioning to realize the educational benefits of diversity. Applying Inclusive Excellence concepts leads to infusing diversity into an institution’s recruiting, admissions, and hiring processes; into its curriculum and co-curriculum; and into its administrative structures and practices. Inclusive Excellence means an institution has adopted means for the cohesive, coherent and collaborative integration of diversity and inclusion into the institutional pursuit of excellence. Accepting the Inclusive Excellence model reflects the understanding that diversity and inclusion are catalysts for institutional and educational excellence, are to be invited and integrated into the very core of the educational enterprise and are not isolated initiatives. The Inclusive Excellence framework provides specific definitions for the terms diversity and inclusion. Throughout this document, we use these terms to mean the following:
Diversity – The term diversity is used to describe individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning and working together.
Inclusion – The term inclusion is used to describe the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity – in people, in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect – in ways that increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. (http://www.aacu.org/inclusive_excellence/index.cfm)
The model for Inclusive Excellence is closely aligned with multicultural organizational development literature. Having evolved through three stages of organizational development, the inclusive organization fully embraces diversity and is characterized by an organizational culture that employs diversity and inclusive practices at all levels. This model of organizational development is one way to evaluate and make note of institutional growth and progress. The four stages outlined in the Inclusive Excellence model are:
1) The mono-cultural organization, where diversity is not valued, and compositional diversity is non-existent;
2) The compliant organization, where diversity efforts are motivated by staying out of legal trouble;
3) The multicultural organization, where many diversity activities and celebrations occur, there are visibly committed leaders, and bias is not tolerated, yet the comprehensive effort to weave diversity into the institutional fabric has not yet been fully achieved;
4) The inclusive organization where differences are recognized, valued, celebrated and utilized, there is an emphasis on inclusive practices at all levels of institutional functioning, and all members of the organization are accountable for diversity and inclusion success. EU will use this framework as a backdrop against which to reflect on its progress in institutional and educational climate and practices.
The model for Inclusive Excellence at EU has four dimensions:
1) Access and Success
2) Campus Climate and Intergroup Relations
3) Education and Scholarship
4) Institutional Infrastructure. This framework should be conceptualized as a matrix of integrated initiatives designed to achieve institutional excellence infused with evidence of diversity and inclusion. Each dimension of the model represents an area in which initiatives are designed to achieve excellence. For planning and implementation purposes, information needs to be collected and analyzed, and programs and policies need to be modified or developed to address deficiencies within each dimension. The dimensions create a framework that helps the institution monitor the progress of diversity and inclusion efforts to ensure that they remain integrated, intentional and central to the core mission of the University.
The goals, objectives, strategies and indicators outlined below are intended to guide the actions of appropriate university units, including senior management areas, colleges, departments, and programs, in the delivery of initiatives, policies, and practices that advance diversity and inclusion.
As this framework is implemented, the creation of indicators for each of the four dimensions will result in an annual report to the President that will include accomplishments, deficiencies, and plans for adjustments of efforts. The report associated with this plan will be presented annually to the Diversity Committee.
Indicators included in this plan draw on existing datasets wherever possible, especially those reports submitted to state or federal authorities that use standardized definitions and may allow cross-institutional comparisons. Institutional and national surveys of faculty, staff, and students provide important information for monitoring progress, guiding continuous improvement, and benchmarking against others when possible. Many units on campus participate in collecting and analyzing data cited below, including Institutional Research, Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, Human Resources, Graduate Studies, as well as the Chief Diversity Office.