Inclusive Excellence (IE) was developed by experts at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) as a way to re-imagine diversity and inclusion as the active process of making excellence inclusive and the responsibility of everyone. IE was designed to help colleges and universities integrate diversity, equity and educational quality efforts into their missions and institutional operations.
The Inclusive Excellence framework reaffirms the College of Engineering’s commitment to growing and sustaining a diverse and inclusive learning, living and working environment. The AAC&U notes, “the action of making excellence inclusive requires that we uncover inequities in student (faculty and staff) success, identify effective educational (and operational) practices and build such practices; organically for sustained institutional change.”
In order to support the goals outlined in the strategic plan and support those at the university level, we must strive to achieve inclusive excellence – extending outside of our comfort zones to engage across perceived silos, appreciating and leveraging the many dimensions of the diversity of our college community and elevating those voices that have been historically excluded or marginalized. Inclusive excellence is a strategic framework designed to focus our collective efforts on concrete actions that will lead to intellectual growth and innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our region, the nation and the world.
As the College of Engineering, Knowlton School of Architecture, departments and Centers align with the Ohio State Shared Values, we encourage leaders to reference the links to the right to support IE strategic planning.
College of Engineering Inclusive Excellence Pillars
Access and Success
Achieve a more diverse and inclusive undergraduate, graduate and professional student body, faculty and staff.
Teaching and Scholarship
Engage students, faculty and staff in learning varied perspectives of domestic and international diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice.
Culture, Climate and Community Building
Create and sustain an organizational environment that acknowledges and celebrates diversity and employs inclusive practices throughout its daily operations.
Create and sustain an institutional infrastructure that effectively supports progress in achieving diversity goals in the University Strategic Plan.
What We Mean When We Say...
What do we mean when we say INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE?
- Inclusive Excellence employs a broad definition of diversity that includes dis/ability, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, religion, nationality, age, perspective, and other important social dimensions that are part of a community. Thoughtful attention is given to those groups that have been historically excluded, underrepresented and marginalized.
- Inclusive Excellence shifts the sole responsibility for implementing change and inclusiveness from a diversity officer or DOI office to a responsibility now assumed by every person. An individual(s) can drive the process however each person is expected to actively engage in their own intellectual and social development.
- Inclusive Excellence changes the way the university has historically conceptualized diversity - as a numerical goal, numbers continue to be important, but the emphasis is on transforming the institution into a community that embeds diversity throughout the institution (practices and policies) where all of our students, staff, and faculty feel welcome, a sense of belonging and can thrive.
- To practice inclusiveness is excellence. Purposeful development of and utilization of organizational resources to enhance learning that values the cultural differences each person brings to the educational experience.
The Inclusive Excellence model was developed by work commissioned by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and funded by the Ford Foundation. The work was designed to help campuses: (a) integrate their diversity and quality efforts, (b) situate this work at the core of institutional functioning, and (c) realize the educational benefits available to students and to the institution when this integration is done well and is sustained over time. (Williams, Berger and McClendon, 2005, p. iii). The IE model was adopted by the College of Engineering in 2010 and later modified in 2015 and again 2020.
Williams, D. A., Berger, J. B., & McClendon, S. A. (2005). Toward a model of inclusive excellence and change in post-secondary institutions. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
In the context of JEDI, justice is often specifically about dismantling systems and structures that create inequality, replacing them with systems that promote fairness, and creating opportunities for diverse groups of people to thrive together.
While the terms “equity” and “equality” are often used interchangeably, their meanings are quite different. Equity is defined as fair and contextually appropriate access to the resources and opportunities required for every individual, group, organization, and community to attain their full potential. Equality, on the other hand, involves giving everyone access to the exact same resources or opportunities, regardless of their unique circumstances. To accelerate change and positive impact, organizations must give equity top priority. Without a focus on equity, efforts to promote diversity & inclusion are laudable, but not sustainable.
To advance equity is to allocate resources, programs, and opportunities to staff, faculty, and students to address historical imbalances.
The various mix or combinations of human differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender/gender identity, 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.
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 with and within systems and institutions.
What resources support students, staff, and faculty with JEDI work?
- College K-12 Outreach and Recruitment (KOR Team): Working with K-12 educators, schools district partnerships, community outreach and undergraduate recruitment to increase the diversity of students.
- Engineering Student Academic Success (SAS Team): Assist with engaging student organizations and recruiting currently enrolled students for undergraduate research opportunities.
- Inclusive Excellence (IE Team): Professional development programs and resources to advance inclusive excellence in the College of Engineering/Knowlton School. The IE team is also equipped to provide clear guidance and resources for reporting complaints about discrimination and bias for students, staff and faculty.
- Graduate Education (Grad Team): Lead recruitment efforts, provide information on fellowships, assist with developing equitable partnerships for BS/MS and preferred PhD programs with MSI's, and create professional/career development opportunities for graduate students.