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What is Inclusive Excellence?

The Inclusive Excellence model was developed by work commissioned by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and funded by the Ford Foundation. The work was designed to help campuses:

  • integrate their diversity and quality efforts,
  • situate this work at the core of institutional functioning,
  • realize the educational benefits available to students and to the institution when this integration is done well and is sustained over time

We recognize Inclusive Excellence as an integral endeavor to fulfill our university’s mission and our strategic plan. We will recruit, support, and retain a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff. We will encourage and reward diversity of thought. We will promote a work environment that encourages and rewards innovation and creativity. We pledge to keep Inclusive Excellence at the highest level of institutional importance and as a foundation in all that we strive to do.

Our over-arching goal for Inclusive Excellence is to adopt a university-wide Inclusive Excellence approach to academic, administrative support, and service functions of the university.

Achieving excellence is inseparable from achieving inclusivity. Studies show how knowledge of diverse perspectives, methodologies, training methods, and racial and cultural backgrounds facilitate creativity, innovative scholarship, and effective teaching (Stewart and Valian 2018). 

  • Diversity – The term diversity is used to describe the various mix or combinations of human differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning and working together. It includes an infinite range of individual, unique characteristics, and experiences, communication style, lived experiences, socioeconomic background, marital status, military experience, and thought process.
  • Inclusion – The term inclusion is used to describe the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity – in people, in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect – in ways that increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and emphatic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. Inclusive cultures allow individuals to bring their whole, authentic self to campus and know that we will be valued and respected.
  • Equity – The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access and equitable opportunity to participate in educational programs designed to reduce the academic/opportunity gap in student success and completion. Equity is also the process of allocating salary, resources, programs, and opportunities to staff, faculty, and students without discrimination, and addressing imbalances.
  • Belonging is the result we achieve when we are successful in maintaining an inclusive culture where feelings are validated, and differences are not a barrier between the individual and the environment in which we exist. Belonging is critical to satisfaction, happiness and meaningful engagement and it promotes mental and physical well-being.  It is a feeling of being valued through positive connections and authentic social interactions.  Belonging is a key indicator of student success and persistence

  • 7101 University Ave
  • Texarkana, TX 75503
  • p: 903.223.3000
  • f: 903.223.3104
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