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Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence is designed to infuse diversity and inclusion efforts into all aspects of the university, ensuring that diversity and inclusion are essential to the mission and success of every area of the university. The IE Framework allows each unit of the university to review current operations and intentionally plan a strategy to identify and support DEI initiatives within the unit. Inclusive Excellence views diversity, equity, and inclusion as responsibility for every member of the TCU community. A diverse and inclusive campus leads to innovation, broadened perspectives, and understanding, values that are foundational aspects of higher education, and a key part of TCU’s strategic plan recommendations, Vision in Action: Lead On.

The Inclusive Excellence Framework (IEF) provides a structure for campus and community initiatives related to TCU’s goal of Inclusive Excellence. The IEF is based on six components that reflect an organized approach and configuration to maintain progress toward the goal of Inclusive Excellence: 1) Equity and Access; 2) Campus Culture; 3) Curriculum; 4) Learning and Development; 5) Community Engagement; 6) Institutional Infrastructure. Each of the six components should be utilized when identifying specific objectives, initiatives, and strategies to advance and promote diversity and inclusion efforts that support the achievement of TCU’s mission of inclusive excellence.

 

TCU Inclusive Excellence Infographic

 

The six components of the Inclusive Excellence Framework provide questions to reflect as a unit, division, or individual and should be used to guide specific objectives, initiatives, and strategies.  

Equity and Access for all constituents (students, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers) is essential to achieving a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus. What opportunities are being presented to constituents and what gaps exist in the current structures?

· How do we recruit our constituents?

· How do we provide support to those who are here?

· How are we relying on traditional methods to recruit (students/employees)? How have we updated our practices to address our current and future needs?

· Who benefits and who is excluded from these established processes and how should these processes be modified or should they be eliminated?

· What resources do I currently have or can be reallocated to address equity, access, and success initiatives?

Campus culture drives an individual’s feelings, perceptions, and actions of the community. What is the experience for students, employees, and other constituents? What does it feel like to be on this campus, in a class, or as a visitor? Our goal should be to align practices for inclusion across campus activities and processes, both inside and outside the classroom, to ensure all individuals feel welcomed, valued, respected, and included.

· Who are we including or excluding when planning?

· What best practices are we using to ensure that individuals feel welcomed, valued, and respected?

· Are we living up to the mission of the university? How is this being evaluated and by whom?

· What data do we have to identify areas of growth and improvement?

Curriculum, pedagogy, research, and scholarship each express principles and perspectives related to DEI. Diversity and Inclusion learning opportunities are designed to promote intercultural competence in these areas as undergraduate and graduate students prepare to enter the workplace. How do curriculum and other academic endeavors infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion?

· How does our pedagogy model inclusive teaching practices?

· How does our teaching attend to students’ different social identities and backgrounds?

· How do the design, teaching, and assessment in our classes deliberately cultivate an environment in which all students are treated fairly, have equal access to learning, feel welcomed, challenged, and supported?

· How do we increase the concepts of intercultural competencies in the classroom?

· Are we encouraging research and collaboration across these topics?

· How do we increase course offerings that are rooted in DEI?

· Is access to additional academic opportunities shared equitably?

Learning and Development include educational opportunities for our community members to explore perspectives and concepts that increase our awareness on topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. By enhancing our learning opportunities, we assist in improving the overall campus community by encouraging inclusive environments. Workshops and training with a focus on DEI benefit students, faculty, staff, and administrators in personal and professional development.

· What co-curricular DEI opportunities are offered to your unit?

· What DEI learning and development opportunities needs are specific to your unit?

· How are learning and development opportunities advertised and encouraged?”

· What is the impact of our learning and development for your unit?

· How are you accessing and monitoring what individuals have learned?

Community engagement includes providing more access to our campus for under-represented groups in the community by building pathways to connection and fostering a sense of belonging. How do we build and sustain purposeful, mutual partnerships with Fort Worth communities, especially those with a large proportion of under-represented groups?

· Are we engaged with communities that are historically marginalized and underrepresented at TCU?

· How are we building partnerships to create solutions for community DEI challenges?

· How well do we monitor, measure, and set expectations for outreach and engagement with underserved populations?

· What impact do we have in diverse communities in surrounding areas?

The institutional infrastructure refers to the policies, procedures, accountability methods, communications, performance measures, and organizational structures of the university. We should create an institutional infrastructure that enhances DEI, based on the concept of shared accountability. Inclusive Excellence is reviewing infrastructure as an organization and also unit structures.

· How do we develop and improve policies and procedures that support DEI?

· How are we accessing and monitoring our progress?

· How do we communicate regularly and transparently to stakeholders regarding the progress of DEI?

· How are we building support and allocating human resources (structural, financial) to reach goals?

Diversity reflects a broad range of identities and perspectives (race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, religious beliefs, age, and disability status). Greater diversity produces more robust, creative, and relevant outcomes in scholarly and academic processes, academic and social programming, and community engagement.

Equity is creating opportunities for equal access and success for historically underrepresented populations. It requires proactive steps to identify, address, and eliminate systemic barriers in order to promote meaningful transformation and progress.

Inclusion exists when all members of a community feel welcome, respected, and valued while recognizing that each individual is unique and acknowledging differences across social identities. Inclusion requires listening to other viewpoints and embracing differences. Feeling included and connected elevates engagement and a sense of belonging for everyone on campus.