University Diversity Priorities
Inclusive Excellence means an institution has adopted means for the cohesive, coherent, and collaborative integration of diversity and inclusion into the shared pursuit of excellence. Strategic planning was the process through which we assessed and aligned our efforts in service of this goal.
In January 2021, we announced five priorities that encapsulated areas where the university needed to make progress that guided the diversity strategic planning process, allowing us to chart a course in the same direction even though we are not in the same boat.
Recruit, Retain, and Develop a Diverse Community
Attract a university community that more closely reflects the state of New Jersey, paying particular attention to underrepresented populations among students, faculty, and staff. Provide strategic support to build the capacity of individuals to engage across differences in identity and experience, attending to the difference between compositional diversity and an inclusive community. This dimension refers to community outreach efforts to build awareness of Rutgers as a destination of choice for students, faculty, and staff, professional development to support the development of multicultural competencies, and engagement opportunities to cultivate an inclusive culture promoting connection among groups that are underrepresented.
Promote Inclusive Scholarship and Teaching
Value and support research and teaching that advances an understanding of diversity, inclusion, equity, and access. This dimension refers to the centering of students’ backgrounds, experiences, and cultural/linguistic frames of reference as well as the experiences of indigenous and other marginalized communities, reviewing and amending the curriculum to promote understanding of diversity and equity within academic disciplines, and promoting/supporting scholarly research on equity and social justice—as well as the scholars who produce it.
Define Sustainable and Substantive Community Engagement
Leverage Rutgers’ educational mission to improve outcomes and reduce disparities for underrepresented and underserved populations in the communities that our campuses are embedded in throughout New Jersey. This dimension refers to marshalling the universities’ core activities of teaching, clinical service, research, student, trainee, and staff engagement in service of the public good promoting the institutional commitment to the community on and off campus. We must engage our publics, ensure community engagement is reflected in the curriculum, reward community engaged research and scholarship, and nurture reciprocal relationships with community institutions. Our aspiration is to serve as institutional anchors, moving beyond location “in” but being “of” and in partnership with the surrounding community.
Build the Capacity of Leaders to Create Inclusive Climates
Equip leaders to address instances of systemic racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism, classism, xenophobia, etc. and promote inclusion in their areas of responsibility. This dimension refers to promoting an understanding of how bias and discrimination along visible and invisible identity is woven into the fabric of institutions of higher education that disrupts recruitment and retention efforts, highlighting how issues of institutional culture impact climate and unit culture, and build confidence in their ability to act in real time when instances of inequity appear.
Develop an Institutional Infrastructure to Drive Change
Create and sustain an infrastructure that supports accountability for institutional change. This dimension refers to the procedures, processes, policies, resources, organizational structures, recognition and rewards for progress, and the use of metrics and other evidence to drive intentional decision making around diversity, equity, and inclusion.