Role of IE Liaisons

Inclusive Excellence Logo

Cultivating Faculty Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence Liaisons in Collaboration with Departments and Colleges

Impetus for the Inclusive Excellence Initiative

From 2015-2017, a number of formal and informal campus climate assessments were conducted. These included the formal evaluation completed by the UNC System Consultant in partnership with Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Willie Fleming, a mixed methods study with students of color conducted by Dr. Brandy Bryson and Dr. Nickolas Jordan of the RCOE, the Chancellor’s Commission on Diversity and Social Justice, and the listening groups with underrepresented students conducted by the Faculty Senate. The data from these reports demonstrate that underrepresented students, staff, and faculty experience microaggressions, tokenizing, and the outcomes of unconscious bias inside and outside the classroom and in the workplace. Further, students reported (consistent with the larger body of research) experiencing curricula that is not diverse in its representation. The results of these reports are indicative of a need for professional development and not an indictment of anyone as acting in intentionally discriminatory ways. This need for professional development is also consistent with the requests made by faculty and staff for diversity and inclusion professional development and curricular support. Consequently, Academic Affairs in partnership with Student Affairs, the Chief Diversity Officer, and the Chancellor’s Office, is working toward an Inclusive Excellence Initiative that aligns with the institution’s strategic plan.

Appalachian State University Strategic Plan

Strategic Direction 4: Embracing Diversity of Thought, Belief, and Community

Diversity is imperative for institutional, faculty, staff and student success. Continued assessment and planning ensures that diversity is incorporated into the fabric of the campus through its policies, administration, practice and service delivery. We are committed to fostering a community culture that is a microcosm of and responsive to the beliefs, identities, practices, and values needed for constructive engagement in our increasingly global community. At Appalachian State University, diversity is recognized as an essential binding agent of the interdisciplinary approach to education, as well as to the greater life experience.

Strategic Direction Initiatives

  • Continue to create programs for students, faculty, and staff geared to making the campus climate equally welcoming for all members of the community.

  • Create a reporting structure to ensure that all campus leadership groups, councils, committees, and boards model the best practices in diversity and inclusion.

  • Implement model practices for the recruitment of a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students.

  • Reward successes in increased diversity in units across campus.

  • Improve resources and services needed to attract and support diverse faculty and students.

  • Improve campus accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Defining Inclusive Excellence

  • Inclusion and Excellence are one in the same.

  • Inclusive Excellence is fundamental to scholarly rigor and academic success.

  • Inclusive Excellence positions diversity as a strength to be actively and consistently engaged—with the objective of achieving myriad teaching and learning outcomes.

  • Inclusive Excellence does not position diversity as simply the presence of difference but instead treats diversity as the intentional inclusion of the identities, cultures, worldviews, gifts, talents, history, and traditions of all people and places.

  • Inclusive Excellence leads to innovation, creation, and success

The Inclusive Excellence Team

The role of the IE Team is to break the bounds of our academic silos, bringing faculty together for the purposes of collaborating toward inclusion and academic excellence. With connectivity at the core of the work, the IE Team seeks to make visible faculty’s equity efforts, to bridge students and faculty, and to create cohesion with other entities campus-wide. The IE Team is committed to inspiring and encouraging faculty and colleagues to engage in this work by providing space for dialogue, learning, and growth and offering resources for inclusive teaching, curriculum, and pedagogy. Meet the team.

Inclusive Excellence Liaisons

The role of the Inclusive Excellence Liaisons is to cultivate faculty inclusive excellence in their departments to include supporting inclusive teaching and fostering positive and equitable educational environments. The IE Liaison brings energy and commitment to the inclusion efforts of the department. See below for a list of short-term and long-term goals for the Inclusive Excellence Liaisons. 

Short Term Goals

  • Begin to develop awareness and shared language about inclusion with the department-Ongoing
  • Assess the needs of the department- Ongoing
  • Look for and respond to a communication from CAE/IE Team- Ongoing
  • Work with Department Chair and Deans to identify strategies and directions derived from Damon Williams’ residency- Ongoing

Long Term Goals

  • Serve as the main liaison for Inclusive Excellence or work with the department chair to identify a new liaison- Ongoing 
  • Build an IE Team within the department and college by identifying and collaborating with colleagues doing this work- Ongoing
  • Communicate additional Inclusive Excellence efforts happening across campus with department and College- Ongoing
  • Continue to gather information regarding departmental needs and progress- Ongoing
  • Continue to build awareness, shared language, and commitment- Ongoing
  • Locate best practices, articles, and resources for diversity, equity, and inclusion in your field of study and relevant to your department. Share with your department. Share with the Inclusive Excellence Team for the IE website-Ongoing
  • Convene with IE Liaisons and IE Team and other campus resources to imagine long term activities and solutions for your departments and colleges- Ongoing
  • Encourage inclusive teaching and professional development opportunities with faculty colleagues in their department- Ongoing
  • Meet each semester moving forward- Ongoing

The Institute

As part of the Inclusive Excellence Initiative, Academic Affairs hosted the Cultivating Faculty Inclusive Excellence Institute facilitated by the Sustained Dialogue Institute. SDI ( has a rich history and experience working with faculty in higher education institutions worldwide. The purpose was to gain an understanding of Inclusive Excellence language and concepts, learn about how to support underrepresented students, navigate difficult dialogue and strong opinions, diversify curriculum and syllabi, and learn classroom prevention and intervention strategies. Liaisons will take this knowledge back to their departments to share with faculty and serve as an Inclusive Excellence resource in conjunction with the Inclusive Excellence Team and the Center for Academic Excellence.