Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles of Inclusive Excellence

There are six guiding principles that are fundamental to the ways in which institutions may wish to think about and define their work under Inclusive Excellence (IE).  The IE Foundational Guiding Principles include: 1) core to mission, 2) widespread engagement, 3) close attention to students, 4) joint pursuit of diversity and excellence, 5) implementation matters as much as strategy, and 6) dual focus (see below).


Inclusive Excellence Foundational Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles (6)


Core to mission

Diversity is central to institutional life, not the periphery, such that it becomes a key organizing principle around which other institutional decisions are made

Widespread engagement

To truly fulfill their educational missions as colleges and universities dedicated to serving all students, a more comprehensive, widespread level of engagement, shared responsibility, and accountability at all levels and ranks should be engendered, where everyone has a place at the table.  In short, everyone has a role to play.

Close attention to students

Institutions need to cultivate a close attentiveness to the student experience itself, including the impact of social identities on students’ learning experiences.  In short, different students require different forms of support.

Joint pursuit of diversity and excellence

Since the goals of excellence and diversity are interconnected and interdependent, excellence must be measured by equity, inclusion and superior performance.

Implementation matters as much as strategy

Success is measured by the change made at institutions towards the goals of equity and inclusion, not by the quality or time spent setting goals and planning.  In other words, IE plans/strategies are only as good as the action which carries them out into tangible outcomes.

Dual focus

Diversity efforts require dual focus, concentrating on both increasing compositional diversity and creating learning environments (culture) in which students of all backgrounds can thrive.