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Inclusive Excellence

The AACU suggests inclusive excellence is the “active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity”.

Inclusive excellence requires institutions to embed diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging across the organization, and into the entire fabric of the institution. Institutions commits to the cultivation of the principles of equal opportunity, and equity in all university practices and policies, making inclusion a key priority, and ultimately ensuring that academic excellence is synonymous with is inclusion. Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is leveraged in a sustainable manner in order to increase personal and social awareness, empathy, cognitive sophistication, and cultural fluency. Inclusive excellence requires institutions to fully embrace, value, and leverage difference in order to advance its mission.

The definition of inclusive excellence consists of four primary elements:

  1. A focus on student intellectual and social development. Academically, it means offering the best possible course of study for the context in which the education is offered.
  2. A purposeful development and utilization of organizational resources to enhance student learning. Organizationally, it means establishing an environment that challenges each student to achieve academically at high levels and each member of the campus to contribute to learning and knowledge development.
  3. Attention to the cultural differences learners bring to the educational experience and that enhance the enterprise.
  4. A welcoming community that engages all of its diversity in the service of student and organizational learning. This definition is broad in order to allow for adaption of the IE definition to be consistent with each individual institution's culture and climate.