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

Welcome to the Office of Inclusive Excellence!

You may be wondering what does inclusive excellence mean?

  • Inclusive Excellence is the recognition that institutional excellence depends on how well we value, engage, and include the diversity of our campus community. Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion to create a community of belonging is core to NKU’s identity.
  • Inclusive Excellence is an organizing paradigm that supports student success through fostering a campus-wide ethos of a robust belief in our students, addressing the social and intellectual development of our students in diversity learning and cultural competence; and embedding inclusive excellence into all aspects of university life.
  • Inclusive Excellence is a cultural change process.

What does the Office of Inclusive Excellence do?

The mission of the Office of Inclusive Excellence (OIE) is to operationalize the inclusive excellence paradigm by ensuring that the principles and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded into all aspects of university life, including, but not exclusively, recruitment, admissions, hiring and promotion processes; curriculum and co-curriculum, and administrative structures and practices.

The Office of Inclusive Excellence plays a leadership role in cultivating a community of belonging by facilitating the knowledge, awareness, and skills critical to creating and sustaining a campus educational community and workplace environment that embraces diversity, achieves equitable outcomes for individuals and communities regardless of their identities and models inclusiveness through respectful interactions and opportunities to fully participate in the life of the university.

Making excellence inclusive is essential to becoming a student-ready campus. This work is a shared responsibility and we welcome your ideas, engagement, and expertise.

Core Definitions

Diversity

Diversity is the wide variety of shared and different personal and group characteristics among human beings. 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.

Equity

Equity is a goal and a process that focuses on student outcomes by ensuring that students historically excluded thrive and graduate at equitable rates by intentionally creating opportunities for equal access and success in three main areas:

  • Representational equity, the proportional participation at all levels of an institution;
  • Resource equity, the distribution of educational resources in order to close equity gaps;
  • Equity-mindedness, refers to the perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes. These practitioners are willing to take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students, and critically reassess their own practices; possess an understanding that all students can achieve success regardless of race, social class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, learning difference, culture, language, religion, and any identity that is significantly marginalized.  

Inclusiveness

Inclusiveness is what a community does to demonstrate its commitment to diversity. It is how we honor, value, and accept our differences. Our efforts to be inclusive are made visible through active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity – in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in the  diverse communities with which individuals might connect – in ways that increase awareness, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. The impact of these efforts To actively demonstrate an attitude that recognizes the value and contributions of all members of the campus community.

Belonging[1]

The word belonging is composed of two words. “Be” – as in being – signifies authenticity and freed from the need to cover aspects of one’s identity. ‘Longing’ is the profound human yearning to connect with others and be part of something that transcends us.”[2]

Belonging at NKU is about creating a campus community in which all community members, whatever their identity, background, experience, perspective or institutional position, thrive, recognize their full potential, engage meaningfully in institutional life, and contribute to the flourishing of others.

It is feeling valued and having the opportunity to have add value. It is about authentic partici­pation in the opportunities, resources, and decision-making structures of the campus where everyone’s strengths are acknowledged and engaged in the work of the university.

Belonging is about being seen, knowing that you matter, that you count.

[1] The definition of “belonging” is a work in progress and opportunities for community input will be offered soon...

[2] Frank, J. “Why we need a ‘scholarship of belonging”. Chronicle of Higher Education, (May 20, 2016).

 

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A Student-Ready University

“A student-ready [university] is one that strategically and holistically advances student success, and works tirelessly in its pursuits to educate ALL students for civic and economic participation in a global, interconnected society” (McNair, T. Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Higher Education, 2016).

Diversity

Diversity is the wide variety of shared and different personal and group characteristics among human beings. 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.

Equity

Equity is a goal and a process that focuses on student outcomes by ensuring that all students thrive and graduate at equitable rates by intentionally creating opportunities for equal access and success in three main areas: representational equity, resource equity and equity-mindedness.

Inclusiveness

Inclusiveness is an active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity – in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, spiritual, social, cultural, geographical, etc.) with which individuals might connect – in ways that increase awareness, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. To actively demonstrate an attitude that recognizes the value and contributions of all members of the campus community.

Belonging

The word belonging is composed of two words. “Be”–as in being–signifies authenticity and freed from the need to cover aspects of one’s identity. ‘Longing’ is the profound human yearning to connect with others and be part of something that transcends us.” Belonging connotes full membership and full participation in the work of the university. This means equitable opportunities to participate in the decision-making structures of the university, equitable resources, and a felt sense of belonging.

Inclusive Excellence Plan

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 the Council for Post-Secondary Education (CPE) 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. 

Read More

Inclusion

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).
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Equity

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.