Kathleen Roberts Kathleen Roberts,
Senior Advisor to the
President for Inclusive Excellence


Greetings NKU Community,

Thank you for your participation and commitment to developing NKU’s 2022 Inclusive Plan: Catalyzing Institutional and Educational Excellence. Sixty-five students, faculty and staff worked tirelessly from August 2016 through March 2017 to develop an integrated institutional Inclusive Excellence Plan. In November 2017, the Council for Postsecondary Education (CPE) approved NKU’s Plan. The approved Plan can be located at the bottom of this page.  Paralleling these efforts, the colleges and administrative units have developed their individual Inclusive Excellence Plans, which align with the institutional plan and offer an opportunity highlight their respective missions and disciplines.

NKU’s Statement on Inclusive Excellence:

  • Northern Kentucky University is committed to and accountable for advancing principles and practices of diversity, equity and inclusion into the core aspects of the university.
  • Inclusive excellence provides the University with a vision and a practice for collaboratively achieving broad and specific initiatives that ensures success for diverse students; leverages the educational and institutional benefits of diversity; and creates the conditions for the flourishing of all students, faculty and staff.
  • We create a culture of inclusion by embracing individual uniqueness, whereby all members of the NKU community experience a sense of belonging through respectful interactions, equitable policies and procedures, and opportunities to fully participate in the life of the university. 

NKU is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion that embraces individual uniqueness and creates a sense of belonging through respectful interactions and opportunities to fully participate in the life of the university. It is our aspiration that the 2022 Inclusive Excellence Plan will serve as NKU’s north star by providing us with a vision and a practice for embedding inclusive excellence into all aspects of the university by collaborating in the design and implementation of broad and specific diversity initiatives; leveraging the educational and institutional benefits of diversity; and creating a community that enables all students, faculty, and staff, whatever their identity, background, or institutional position to thrive, realize their capabilities, engage meaningfully in university life, and contribute to the well-being of others.

With great appreciation,



2022 Inclusive Excellence Plan: Catalyzing Institutional and Educational Excellence

The University’s Inclusive Excellence Plan is situated within the framework that emerged from the efforts of CPE (Council for Post-Secondary Education) to develop a new state-wide policy on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and a process for setting educational opportunity goals and determining eligibility to offer new degree programs. This new policy is “grounded on the premise that to truly prepare students for life and work in an increasingly diverse society, Kentucky higher education institutions shall develop a plan to embrace diversity and equity…commit to improving academic achievement for all students, create an inclusive campus environment, and produce culturally competent graduates for the workforce.”[1] 

To view the Institutional Inclusive Excellence Plan, please click here.  


[1] Kentucky Public Postsecondary Education Policy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. adopted by CPE: September 23, 2016 (PDF)



Individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, physical or cognitive abilities, as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning (AAC&U).


The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in people, in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical). This engagement with diversity has the potential to increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions (AAC&U).


Creating opportunities for equal access and success for historically underrepresented populations, such as racial and ethnic minority and low-income students, in three main areas: representational equity, the proportional participation at all levels of an institution; resources equity, the distribution of educational resources in order to close equity gaps; equity-mindedness, the demonstration of an awareness of and willingness to address equity issues among institutional leaders and staff.