Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence Plan represents work that started with Niagara University’s 2020 Identifying and Dismantling Racial Injustice Task Force. In its June 2020 report, that task force called upon University leadership to take immediate and thoughtful actions that create meaningful change within the Niagara University community and lead to a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) environment for all. One of the 22 recommendations was to “construct a new sector of DEI with resources and personnel, headed by a Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” Recognizing the immediacy and importance of the moment, University leaders acted upon the recommendation and set in motion the process that resulted in this document.

The Inclusive Excellence Framework is designed to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in all academic, personal, and professional experiences. This framework is composed of 5 interrelated components.


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Diversifying the Student Body.

5 Dimensions of Inclusive Excellence

  • This dimension refers to the compositional diversity among the organization's constituent groups (staff, faculty, students, visitors, patients, alumni, customers, community partners, etc.) and their context-specific outcomes or benefits gained from their relationships with the organization.
  • Processes like recruitment, retention, development, and long-term outcomes (graduation, tenure, career advancement, etc.) are the key focus of this dimension.
  • This dimension refers to what it feels like for individuals to be here and the behavioral experiences and norms that are present.
  • Effective and innovative cultures depend on individuals feeling comfortable to take interpersonal risks and to bring their whole selves to their work and learning.
  • Measuring constituent perceptions related to feeling respected, belonging, and prevalence of affirming relationships with peers and organizational administration are among the concepts present in this dimension.
  • This dimension relates to the ways in which curriculum, teaching, research, scholarship, and employee and student development contribute to our passion for discovery, innovation, community engagement, service, and social justice.
  • Programs and processes in this dimension include intentionally designed curricula and pedagogies, as well as targeted professional development activities, that promote intercultural awareness and competence.
  • This dimension refers to the policies, resources, organizational and communication structures, and performance measures that inform and enable an intentionally inclusive, equitable, and innovative organization.
  • This dimension refers to how place-based organizations like ours engage reciprocally and in a participatory way with our surrounding neighborhoods, counties, and the Commonwealth.
  • Specifically, how we as an organization understand and track our impacts in terms of the financial and social well-being of the communities and partners with which we are engaged.