At the University of Utah, we endeavor to purposefully create conditions that make excellence inclusive for all students. Inspired by the framework articulated by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U)—that “the opportunity to learn with and from diverse peers is a critical element of educational excellence”—the Office for Inclusive Excellence is invigorated to positively effect the foundational role of higher education by contributing to the quality of innovative research, enhancing effective teaching practices, and empowering social responsibility with our peers as well as our students. These primary obligations become transformational to our learning environment when educational institutions integrate inclusive excellence characterized by:
(a) intellectual and social imperatives in which new literacies and knowledges of the world can unfold;
(b) cultural competencies that give credence to critical and complex worldviews leading toward reflexivity and change;
(c) institutional resources to support engaged and active scholarship, both within and beyond the classroom setting; and
(d) a welcoming environment that strongly affirms the ideals of community, diversity, inclusion, relationships, and a sense of belonging.
We recognize that our institutional goals—to promote student success, develop and transfer new knowledge, engage communities to improve health and quality of life, and ensure long-term economic viability—can only be achieved when individuals commit to fostering inclusive excellence. We know that inclusive excellence takes root in institutions where knowledge production is inevitable and discovery is emergent. We, therefore, remain resolved to collectively explore intentional approaches to enhance an inclusive campus climate at the University of Utah. With this resolve, we expect to experience significant educational benefits and increased potential through research, teaching, public service, and a commitment to social responsibility.