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Kalamazoo College

Principles Informing Our Work

  1. Inclusive Excellence
    Building on the work in the mid-2000’s by the American Association for College & Universities (AAC&U), we have adopted an operational definition of inclusive excellence that consists of the following four components:
    • Offering the best possible course of study to support student intellectual and social development.
    • Developing and utilizing organizational resources in order to establish an environment that challenges each student to achieve academically at high levels and each member of the campus to contribute to learning and knowledge development.
    • Giving attention to the differences (including but not limited to race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, first language, creed, religion, age, physical and learning ability, and learning style) learners bring to the educational experience and that enhance the enterprise.
    • Having a welcoming community that engages all of its diversity in the service of student and organizational learning.

    Making excellence inclusive requires that we uncover inequities in student access and success, identify effective educational practices, and together implement such practices for sustained institutional change.

  2. Infusing and Embedding Diversity and Inclusion Work:
    Our approach at K presumes that making excellence inclusive is everyone’s business and that each institutional leader is responsible for ensuring that our goals related to inclusive excellence are achieved. This approach requires that institutional leaders infuse and imbed diversity considerations into their day-to-day professional roles and responsibilities and develop the capacity for leading diversity efforts within their units and throughout the institution.  By employing this approach, the knowledge and skills required for diversity and inclusion work can be developed and shared to build individual, unit and institutional capacity, on an on-going basis.
  3. Recognition of Complexity: building a campus that is diverse and inclusive will not happen overnight. It requires a level of personal, institutional and cultural change that is complex and often slow.  This type of change will not happen because of one person or one initiative.  It is work that we will continue to address and refine for many years to come. This work is difficult, and requires change and continued learning from all of us. As we make more progress, we will continue to learn and to improve our policies and practices. This effort represents an ever evolving journey not an endpoint. Setbacks should be expected and serve as a source of learning.