Definition of Terms

The following are definitions that guide our Diversity, Equity, Campus Climate, and Inclusion efforts. 

Diversity entails individual differences (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations). 

Equity [in education] refers to the principle of fairness. While it is often used interchangeably with the related principle of equality, equity encompasses a wide variety of educational models, programs, and strategies that may be considered fair, but not necessarily equal. It has been said that “equity is the process; equality is the outcome,” given that equity—what is fair and just— may not, in the process of educating students, reflect strict equality—what is applied, allocated, or distributed equally.

Equity-Mindedness refers to the perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes. These practitioners are willing to take personal and institutional responsibility for student success, and critically reassess their own practices. It also requires that practitioners are race-conscious and aware of the social and historical context of exclusionary practices in American Higher Education. 

Campus Climate is defined as the current attitudes, behaviors and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential.

Inclusion ( pg. A27 [depends on a sense of belonging that] connotes full membership in the [campus] community. This entails success in achieving not merely formal participation but also rewarding participation for all members of a diverse campus community in the opportunities, resources, and decision-making structures of the campus. Because membership entails not only rights but also responsibilities...success requires that each of us understands how he, she, or they contributes to crafting this community, to supporting academic excellence, to fostering individual well-being, and to respecting each other’s dignity.