USD and Inclusive Excellence
At USD, "diversity" is a broad concept. We use a comprehensive definition of diversity that includes characteristics like a person's religion, disability or ability status, veteran status, first-generation status, gender identity and gender expression, race and ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, nationality, citizenship, or age. These are all important dimensions to a person's identity that they bring to the USD community.
We approach diversity by using a framework called "Making Excellence Inclusive" or "Inclusive Excellence". This is a principle developed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) that helps us think about issues of equal access to services, student success, and high-quality learning. Inclusive Excellence recognizes that an institution's success depends in part on how well it values, engages and includes the different experiences of students, staff, faculty, administrators and alumni.
USD's Office for Diversity is guided by the University’s Diversity and Inclusiveness Statement and the Inclusive Excellence framework.
To support USD's practice of Inclusive Excellence, the Office for Diversity works toward the following goals:
- Provide leadership and coordination of Inclusive Excellence efforts;
- Serve as an advisor to executive, academic and program leadership;
- Provide professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, students and all constituents;
- Assist in matters related to compliance and accreditation;
- Collaborate with university stakeholders on meeting workforce needs and initiatives related to Inclusive Excellence; and
- Assist in the recruitment, retention and success of faculty, staff and students.