UCI’s commitment to inclusive excellence is an essential component of our campus identity, both as part of the nation’s largest public land grant university system and as a first generation majority, ANAPISI and Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).¹ In addition to expressing our institutional values, this commitment also rests upon a well-established body of research that demonstrates the crucial role that equity, diversity and inclusion play in fostering excellence in scholarship and teaching.²
For UCI faculty members, the pursuit of inclusive excellence may mean:
- The production of the highest quality scholarship, clinical research and creative activity that seeks to include a diverse range of participants and perspectives and/or challenges disciplinary claims and methods that have created obstacles to the inclusion of structurally disadvantaged and underrepresented minority community members in the production of new knowledge.
- The demonstration of the highest standards of teaching, reflected in a commitment to student-centered, strengths-based pedagogies and the proactive use of best practices for course design, instruction and assessment, in order to provide equal opportunities for participation and academic success to a diverse student body. It also includes seeking to identify and mitigate barriers to the participation and academic success of structurally disadvantaged and underrepresented students in learning activities.
- The ongoing participation in service activities that draw upon individual faculty members’ knowledge, skills and interests in order to advance equity and diversity within the university, the disciplinary community, and society. Special emphasis is placed on activities that work to dismantle barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of talented students, faculty and staff from underrepresented minority communities, that foster a welcoming and affirmative campus climate, and that create equal opportunity for success and wellbeing for all.
The pursuit of inclusive excellence is a professional practice by which faculty members of all backgrounds draw upon a range of strategies, skills and insights—acquired through training as well as personal experience—in order to advance equity, diversity and inclusion. It is not something that “comes naturally” to underrepresented faculty members, nor is it unattainable by faculty members who benefit from more privileged identities. Instead, it requires faculty from all backgrounds to engage in an ongoing process of critical reflection on the ways in which they conduct research, teach and engage in service; to make changes to those practices when necessary; and to seek opportunities for education and professional development as appropriate.
The pursuit of inclusive excellence is the responsibility of all UCI faculty members. As such, individual contributions to equity, diversity and inclusion through research, teaching and service—as well as through participation in relevant professional development activities—are an important component of the academic review process by which faculty performance is evaluated.
Prepared by Anita Casavantes Bradford and the Provost’s Leadership Academy 2018-19