Benefits of Equity, Diversity & Inclusive Excellence
Benefits of Diversity, Equity & Inclusive Excellence
Benefits of Diversity, Equity & Inclusive Excellence
The office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is committed to cultivating an intellectual environment at UCCS that is inclusive of all stakeholders in order to overcome the historical legacies of exclusion. The office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion promotes the principles of equity, diversity and inclusive excellence not only to enhance the University's service to the public, but also to contribute directly to the work environment and the quality of learning for all who participate in higher education both inside and outside the classroom. When we as an institution of higher education recognize, value and embrace these principles and ideals, we are recognizing, valuing and embracing the uniqueness of all individuals.
Strategic equity, diversity and inclusive excellence initiatives, programming, curriculum and support services do not solely benefit individuals and groups who have historically been excluded, marginalized and disadvantaged; rather, these collective and interrelated efforts simultaneously contribute excellence to the education and experience of all campus stakeholders. Developing an DEI Strategic Plan with concrete measurable goals and an implementation schedule that is supported by upper leadership at UCCS will not only visibly improve the overall campus climate but will also advantage UCCS in the accreditation process. To realize this potential requires more than seeking to diversify the composition of UCCS’s student population, staff, faculty and administration along ethnic and racial lines. An equally important challenge is for members of the University community to undergo an educational process of awareness about self and others; and, consequently, engage fully across social, cultural and national or global differences, and integrate lessons from distinct cultural perspectives into their development of knowledge, skills and character.
Cultural Proficiency & Self-Awareness in the Workplace
Demographic changes in the U.S. population and increased global interconnections have drawn broad attention to the need not only for a diverse administration, faculty, staff and student body, but also equity, diversity and inclusive excellence strategic initiatives, programming and corresponding curriculum and support services within institutions of higher education. Acquiring the cultural proficiency to work effectively with people representing diverse backgrounds and experiences requires an informed understanding of others and, perhaps most critically, an informed and complex understanding of the privileges and disadvantages resulting from one's own social, cultural and national origins. In other words, cultural proficiency is based on integrating the awareness, knowledge-base, and learned skills required to effectively and sensitively educate, supervise, work with and serve people from diverse backgrounds and social identities; and empower a diverse population of students to succeed not only in the workforce, but also in an increasingly challenging world.
Teaching, Research & Service
A UCCS education is a journey of discovery, designed to impart training in scholarly and creative traditions and methods of knowledge acquisition as well as awareness of self and others’ perspectives and experiences. The office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion engenders critical awareness and empathetic understanding. One of the DEI office’s central missions is to enable our students to lead and influence future generations for economic, cultural and societal benefit. The office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion welcomes the full exploration of its intellectual boundaries and supports its faculty, staff and students in the creation of new knowledge and the pursuit of new ideas. Teaching is a fundamental purpose of the University at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Research and scholarship are integral to the educational process and to the expansion of our understanding of the natural world, history and culture. Service reflects UCCS’s obligation to share the benefits of its research and knowledge for the public good. The University serves the nation’s and the state of Colorado’s critical needs by contributing to a well-qualified and broadly diverse population, leadership and workforce. In order to reach this goal, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs must create the broadly diverse environment necessary to foster critical skills and perspectives regarding equity, diversity and inclusion in its teaching and research for its students to contribute and succeed in the world of the Twenty-First Century.
These three interlocking elements—teaching, research and service—span all the University’s academic disciplines and represent a commitment to lead and serve the state of Colorado, the nation and the world by pursuing and disseminating new knowledge while building upon and expanding the experiences of the past. The office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion aspires to advance this commitment by strengthening cultural awareness and improving the quality of life of its community, thereby better serving an increasingly diverse populace. The educational benefits that flow from diversity and inclusion efforts, including improved teaching and learning, prepare students for a twenty-first century workforce, and enhance preparation for civic engagement and leadership, among others (Coleman, 2014). These benefits can be gained by stakeholders from all backgrounds and depend on more than compositional diversity or critical mass, which focuses primarily on gender or race and/or ethnicity.