Diversity among humans means variety, beginning with individual difference and proceeding to such characteristics as race and ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical and learning ability, class and other socioeconomic factors. In addition, understanding and accepting this variety requires respect of both self and others who have differing views and practices.
Furthermore, in recognizing the differences and similarities between ourselves and others, we increase our understanding of how we construct our cultural and world views.
Within this context, academic excellence can exist only when the totality of human variety is taken into account, and when the University experience is harnessed to study and, whenever possible, to strengthen capacity to redress any social and cultural inequities that were historically constructed along the demarcations of our diversity. Flowing from this understanding are a number of manifestations of excellence such as:
- Developing the richest and deepest of teaching and learning experiences through rational discourse and critical thinking.
- Leveraging the entire campus community toward reaching its fullest potential through discovery, creativity and engagement.
- Fostering caring, competent and authentic interpersonal interactions with a variety of persons.
- Redressing any historic and current inequities of opportunity in our educational institutions, our region and our nation.