Statement of Principles and Definitions

Draft, October 2021

We begin by sharing our guiding principles and definitions in the creation of the college’s first Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity ten-year strategic plan.

The diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution:

  • believes there is no hierarchy of human identity, background, or life circumstance and acknowledges the harm that the historical and ongoing belief in such a hierarchy has caused and continues to cause.
  • nurtures and draws strength from the talents, life experiences, and perspectives of all its members and affirms that diversity, equity, and inclusion are not zero-sum processes resulting in winners and losers.
  • ensures that all community members receive fair access to the opportunities and resources they need to thrive in their learning, work, and research.
  • addresses the tensions that may arise between the claims of individual freedom and community expectations with transparency, good-faith dialog, and deliberation.
  • actively reflects on its processes, practices, governance, and activities—including its interactions with those beyond the institution—to ensure that they are animated by the above principles and can be modified as needed.

These principles inform our vision for Carleton as a place where all our members have the opportunity to thrive personally and as a community. We recognize that we are not where we want to be as a college in all of these areas. Indeed, our research has shown us many places we are falling short of our aspirations, and we hope with the Goals, Objectives, and specific Strategies that we lay out below to begin to address the disparities we have documented. The process is such, however, that it will not be “done” when specific goals are achieved. Rather, our community is on a journey to live up to the principles we stated above, and that is an ever-evolving process which will require a culture that brings those principles to the center of all of its considerations and actions.

For clarity’s sake, we offer the following definitions:

Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another, including identity markers such as age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability/ability status, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, physical appearance, diversity of thought, political perspective, culture, and more.

Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources.

Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people.

We recognize and value diversity, equity and inclusion along these different dimensions.

This is a plan for the whole Carleton community, since the entire community benefits from welcoming and nurturing the talents, life experiences, and perspectives of all its members. At this time in our country and indeed our world, issues of inequity and social justice are being contested in many realms. Our committee’s charge included a focus on racial equity, and that has driven many of the goals and action steps we are proposing. We acknowledge that different members will have different experiences and priorities, but we believe that this first strategic plan will put Carleton on the path toward our larger vision for an inclusive and equitable campus for everyone.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Build the institutional capacity, resources, and dedicated leadership required to engage in the work of inclusion, diversity, and equity broadly, including implementing and sustaining the IDE Strategic Plan

  • Objective 1
    Transform our culture, practices and policies to include underrepresented voices in planning and decision-making processes and to center the ideals of IDE in all considerations
  • Objective 2
    Align existing planning and decision-making processes to actualize the goals of the IDE Strategic Plan
  • Objective 3
    Provide focused leadership that is committed to and accountable for the execution, communication, and achievement of this IDE Strategic Plan and coordinating other IDE efforts

Goal 2: Significantly increase representation of students, faculty, and staff on campus from underrepresented populations

  • Objective 1
    Increase the percentage and retention of historically underserved students with a focus on Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other underrepresented groups
  • Objective 2
    Increase the percentage, retention, and continuity of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other underrepresented faculty
  • Objective 3
    Increase the percentage and improve retention of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other underrepresented staff
  • Objective 4
    Improve the balance and distribution of home country representation within the international student community

Goal 3: Establish and sustain the resources and practices necessary to provide an equitable environment for all students, staff, and faculty to thrive.

  • Objective 1
    Identify and address institutional barriers that result in differential outcomes for student, staff, and faculty achievement and belonging based on identity
  • Objective 2
    Ensure that campus support offices and programs have the appropriate resources to meet student, staff, and faculty needs

Goal 4: Integrate and sustain engagement with the principles of IDE, including the full diversity of perspectives, experiences, and intellectual contributions of historically underrepresented voices

  • Objective 1
    Integrate the work of historically underrepresented scholars into the curriculum and employ diverse approaches, readings, classroom experiences, and departmental offerings
  • Objective 2
    Increase faculty, staff, and students’ ability and opportunity to engage in dialogue, share their experiences and perspectives, and listen to understand others’ experiences and perspectives
  • Objective 3
    Recognize, value and reward work done by community members related to IDE

Goal 5: Demonstrate our commitment to measurable improvement of IDE outcomes through data collection and analysis, and transparent communication.

  • Objective 1
    Establish key performance metrics in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Objective 2
    Implement a system designed to support coordination and tracking of data and inform decision-making and allocation of resources committed to IDE efforts
  • Objective 3
    Commit to ongoing, timely dissemination of relevant data and outcomes to the broader community