In 2012-2013, the ASUU President, Geneva Thompson, and her cabinet members were instrumental in the creation of the Office for Inclusive Excellence (OIE). By raising awareness about bias incidents occurring at the University of Utah, they prompted the university to respond to bias incidents that were not compliance risks, but negatively impacted student learning and campus climate. OIE opened the following year.
What is Inclusive Excellence
The concept of Inclusive Excellence (articulated and endorsed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities) moves a university away from a simplistic definition of diversity to a more inclusive, comprehensive, and omnipresent notion of inclusiveness; melds inclusiveness and academic excellence into one concept (to practice inclusiveness is excellence); shifts the responsibility for equity, diversity and inclusion to everyone on campus as opposed to one unit or department shouldering the responsibility; and moves an institution away from conceptualizing diversity only in terms of a numerical goal of diverse constituents.
The focus becomes the transformation of a university into a vibrant community that embeds equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the institution, including (but not limited to) demographics (numbers), curriculum, policies, enrollment, pedagogy, financial resources, diverse student learning outcomes, leadership, training, retention, student learning, marketing, technology, teaching, student advising, campus climate communications, administration, recruitment, hiring and promotion and tenure, assessment, institutional advancement, and evaluation.
To ensure the University of Utah’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is embedded throughout all aspects of the University and its operation.
To provide the campus community with development opportunities and resources to move beyond simplistic approaches to increase diversity to more comprehensive approaches that meld inclusiveness and academic excellence.