Role of IE Liaisons

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 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 inclusion efforts of the department. Below are the short and long term goals shared with the IE Liaisons at their initial Institute in April 2018.

Short Term Goals

  • Develop a presentation designed around the components of the IE Institute- 2018

  • Connect with Department Chair to schedule presentation/dialogue- 2018

  • Advertise Damon Williams Inclusive Excellence Residency scheduled August 27-29, 2018 departmentally and college wide- Spring, Summer, and Early Fall 2018

  • Present at department meeting- 2018/2019

  • Begin to develop awareness and shared language about inclusion with department- Spring-Early Fall 2018; Ongoing

  • Assess needs of the department- Spring 2018-Fall 2018; Ongoing

  • Look for and respond to communication from CAE/IE Team- Late Spring, Late Summer, Early Fall 2018; Ongoing

  • Meet with small groups- IE Team Facilitator to initiate- Early to Mid Fall 2018

  • Work with Department Chair and Deans to identify strategies and directions derived from Damon Williams’ residency- Early to Mid Fall 2018; Ongoing


Long Term Goals


  • Serve as the main liaison for Inclusive Excellence or work with department chair to identify a new liaison- Ongoing or Late Spring 2019  

  • Build an IE Team within the department and college by identifying and collaborating with colleagues doing this work- Fall 2018; Ongoing

  • Communicate additional Inclusive Excellence efforts happening across campus with department and College- Ongoing

  • Continue to gather information regarding departmental needs and progress- Late Fall 2018; 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- Mid to Late Fall 2018 and 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.