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| About RVU | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Inclusive Excellence


Inclusive Excellence (IE) emerged in 2005 as an initiative of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Specifically, with funding from the Ford Foundation and under the leadership of Alma R. Clayton-Pedersen, PhD, Vice President for Education and Institutional Renewal, AAC&U commissioned a series of scholarly articles delineating the concept of Inclusive Excellence, presenting the latest research on diversity, and outlining conceptual models revolutionizing higher education's approach to preparing students for an increasingly diverse society and world.

What is Inclusive Excellence?

Inclusive Excellence:

  • Focuses on the structural cultural transformation of a university into a community that embeds diversity and inclusiveness throughout the institution (system), including (but not limited to) demographics, facilities, curriculum, policies, enrollment, pedagogies, financial resources, fund raising, leadership, trainings, clubs and organizations, events, retention, student learning, marketing, technology, student advising, athletics, campus climate, communications, administration, recruitment, retention, graduation, hiring, promotion and tenure, assessments, institutional advancement, and evaluations.
  • Moves a university away from a simplistic definition of diversity and toward a more inclusive, comprehensive, and omnipresent notion of inclusiveness in which diversity includes (but is not limited to) culture, race, age, ethnicity or national origin, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, spiritual practices, political beliefs, mental and physical ability, socioeconomic status, individual life experiences, or other social identities;
  • Melds inclusiveness and academic excellence into one concept (to be excellent, we must be inclusive);
  • Shifts the responsibility for diversity and inclusiveness to everyone on campus regardless of their position or rank as opposed to one person, unit, or department shouldering the responsibility;
  • Moves an institution away from conceptualizing diversity only in terms of a numerical goal of diverse constituents and broadens it to include changing the culture and climate to be as inclusive as possible of all students and in particular, students from marginalized communities who are rich in multicultural perspectives, experiences, worldviews, cultures, and other gifts and talent.

In conclusion, Inclusive Excellence is a framework for transforming Rocky Vista University into an institution that conceptualizes inclusiveness and excellence as one and the same, makes inclusiveness ubiquitous, assigns responsibility for inclusiveness to everyone on campus, and utilizes a broad definition of diversity. The IE model is accompanied by an implementation infrastructure, measurement initiatives, and an accountability/incentives system.


Letter from the Provost | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Update

May 24, 2021

Letter from the Provost | Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Update [May 19, 2021 – Parker, CO] Dear RVUCOM community, The University is committed to create a safe and welcoming environment where all can thrive. This is a commitment that we are taking very seriously and have been working diligently to making DEI an ongoing key strategic focus. The four Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force (DEITF) groups (Community, Curriculum, Communication, and Climate) completed their work at the end of March culminating in formal presentations to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council (DEIAC). Following these presentations, the DEIAC met to […]

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Letter from the Dean | Reflections on Violence in Our Society

March 22, 2021

Letter from the Dean: Reflections on Violence in Our Society [March 19, 2021 – Parker, CO] Dear RVUCOM community, Violence happens in our world every day. Hate crimes that are motivated by ethnicity, race, gender, or sexuality happen all too frequently and they are not talked about nearly enough, not dealt with nearly enough, not prosecuted, not aired, not discussed, and not examined nearly enough. The purpose of a hate crime is to inflict larger damage, to increase the blast radius and damage beyond the explosion or gunshot itself. It is about violence, but not just about physical violence – […]

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Black History Month Newsletter

March 1, 2021

Black History Month Newsletter | February 2021 Pioneers of Science, Medicine, and the Arts Contributions by Adrian Clark, Diversity and Inclusion Officer For Black History Month, RVU spotlighted several Black American men and women who made significant contributions to the fields of science, medicine, and the arts. These pioneers include Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, who performed the first open heart surgery in 1893; Katherine Johnson, mathematical genius who mapped the trajectory of the first American manned flight into space; Vivien Thomas, who developed a procedure used to treat blue baby syndrome; and Berry Gordy Jr., founder of the iconic Motown […]

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