Advancing a culture of Inclusive Excellence at DU!
Inclusive Excellence at the University of Denver
Inclusive Excellence (IE) is the recognition that a community or institution’s success is dependent on how well it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of faculty, staff, student, and alumni constituents and all the valuable social dimensions that they bring to the campus, including but not limited to race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, nationality, age and disability. More than a short-term project or single office initiative, this comprehensive approach requires a fundamental transformation of the institution by embedding and practicing Inclusive Excellence in every effort, aspect, and level of a college or university. Stated differently, the goal is to make Inclusive Excellence a habit that is implemented and practiced consistently throughout an institution.
Inclusive Excellence and the AAC&U
Several years ago, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) commissioned a set of scholarly papers focusing on the theory and practice of Inclusive Excellence. In the resulting three documents, the authors delineate the meaning of IE within the context of higher education; discuss how it differs from traditional notions of diversity; and encourage staff, faculty, and students to begin to practice the concept in order to transform their institutions. More specifically, the authors argue that institutions of higher learning need to be transformed into entities that are fully inclusive of the various dimensions of diversity that exist on college campuses.
IE comes to DU
In 2006, the University of Denver was introduced to Inclusive Excellence when Dr. Alma Clayton Pedersen, Vice President for Education and Institutional Renewal with AAC&U, delivered a keynote address at the DU Annual Diversity Summit. Several months later, Chancellor Robert Coombe and Provost Gregg Kvistad asked the University’s senior leadership to embrace IE and begin working in conjunction with the staff of the Center for Multicultural Excellence to implement it at DU.
Over the last several years, there has been progress in implementing IE with many deans, faculty, staff, students, and alumni making significant contributions to the effort. Much progress has been made particularly in embedding diversity into processes, systems, mission statements, and other structural dimensions of the University.
IE at DU
The concept of Inclusive Excellence moves DU away from a simplistic definition of diversity to a more inclusive, comprehensive, and omnipresent notion of inclusiveness that has the following features:
From this webpage, we will be adding resources for individuals and units to assist in better understanding and integrating IE into all our actions, and will be highlighting some best practices at DU.
Some resources provided on this site are in .PDF file format, and require Adobe Acrobat Reader(R) to view. You can download this FREE software here.