History and Impetus

Inclusive Excellence Logo


Impetus for the Inclusive Excellence Initiative

A number of factors contributed to the development of the Inclusive Excellence Initiative. Though recommendations for IE efforts began before 2015, from 2015-2017, a number of formal and informal campus climate assessments were conducted. These included the formal evaluation completed by the UNC System Consultant in partnership with former Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Willie Fleming, a mixed methods study with students of color conducted by Dr. Brandy Bryson and Dr. Nickolas Jordan of the RCOE, the Chancellor’s Commission on Diversity and Social Justice, and the listening groups with underrepresented students conducted by the Faculty Senate. The data from these reports demonstrated that underrepresented students, staff, and faculty experience microaggressions, tokenizing, and the outcomes of unconscious bias inside and outside the classroom and in the workplace. Further, students reported (consistent with the larger body of curriculum research) experiencing non-diverse curricula. The results of these reports were indicative of a need for professional development and not an indictment of anyone acting in intentionally discriminatory ways. These findings are also consistent with the historical and ongoing requests made by faculty and staff for diversity and inclusion professional development and curricular support. The need to address these gaps through professional development led to the creation of the Inclusive Excellence Initiative and the Inclusive Excellence Team. These efforts aligned with the University’s strategic plan and the work is ongoing.

Appalachian State University Strategic Plan

Strategic Direction 4: Embracing Diversity of Thought, Belief, and Community

Diversity is imperative for institutional, faculty, staff and student success. Continued assessment and planning ensures that diversity is incorporated into the fabric of the campus through its policies, administration, practice and service delivery. We are committed to fostering a community culture that is a microcosm of and responsive to the beliefs, identities, practices, and values needed for constructive engagement in our increasingly global community. At Appalachian State University, diversity is recognized as an essential binding agent of the interdisciplinary approach to education, as well as to the greater life experience.

Strategic Direction Initiatives

  • Continue to create programs for students, faculty, and staff geared to making the campus climate equally welcoming for all members of the community.

  • Create a reporting structure to ensure that all campus leadership groups, councils, committees, and boards model the best practices in diversity and inclusion.

  • Implement model practices for the recruitment of a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students.

  • Reward successes in increased diversity in units across campus.

  • Improve resources and services needed to attract and support diverse faculty and students.

  • Improve campus accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Defining Inclusive Excellence

  • Inclusion and Excellence are one in the same.

  • Inclusive Excellence is fundamental to scholarly rigor and academic success.

  • Inclusive Excellence positions diversity as a strength to be actively and consistently engaged—with the objective of achieving myriad teaching and learning outcomes.

  • Inclusive Excellence does not position diversity as simply the presence of difference but instead treats diversity as the intentional inclusion of the identities, cultures, worldviews, gifts, talents, history, and traditions of all people and places.

  • Inclusive Excellence leads to innovation, creativity, and success of individuals and the institution. 

  • Visit this page to learn more about what inclusion is not.

The Inclusive Excellence Team

The role of the IE Team is to break the bounds of our academic silos, bringing faculty together for the purposes of collaborating in our work toward equity, inclusion and academic excellence. With connectivity at the core of the work, the IE Team seeks to make visible faculty’s equity efforts, to bridge students and faculty, and to create cohesion with other entities campus-wide. The IE Team is committed to inspiring and encouraging faculty and colleagues to engage in this work by providing space for dialogue, learning, and growth and offering resources for inclusive teaching, curriculum, and pedagogy. Meet the team.