Definition of Core Terms

Diversity: The term "diversity" points to the presence and participation of people who differ across multiple dimensions of real and socially constructed expressions of human identity and experience. Presence and participation also incorporate thoughts, customs, perspectives, practices, methods of problem solving, and ways of negotiating the environment that enrich the educational process.

Equity: Within the context of higher education, the creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented and underserved populations to have equal access and equitable outcomes through educational programs that are capable of closing the gaps in student achievement. This would include increasing faculty, staff and administrator’s capacity to teach, work and lead in ways that are informed by and responds to the diverse cultural composition of campus spaces of learning, working, and living. A commitment to respect and provide equitable treatment for all members of our community, especially those from historically underrepresented and underserved communities.

Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity – in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, spiritual, social, cultural, geographical, etc.) with which individuals might connect – in ways that increase awareness, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. To actively demonstrate an attitude that recognizes the value and contributions of all members of the campus community.

Summary Statement of the Conceptual Framework -“Inclusive Excellence”

Inclusive Excellence:The recognition that a college or university’s ability to successfully advance its mission is dependent on how fully it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators, trustees, alumni, institutional partners and guests. Operationalizing Inclusive Excellence leads to infusing diversity into the institution’s recruiting, admissions, hiring and promotion processes; into its curriculum and co-curriculum, and into its administrative structures and practices. Inclusive Excellence requires a fundamental transformation of the institution calling for it to embrace and implement means for the comprehensive, cohesive, coherent and collaborative amalgamation of diversity and inclusion into the university’s understanding and pursuit of excellence.