Inclusive Excellence at UBC

Inclusive Excellence (IE) is a systems-wide approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. IE appears as a key strategy in Shaping UBC’s Next Century (Strategic Plan 2018 – 2028).

Strategy 4. Inclusive excellence
Cultivate a diverse community that creates and sustains equitable and inclusive campuses.

IE states that true excellence in an institution is unattainable without inclusion – and in fact, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to excellence. It moves away from historical approaches to diversity that focused on numbers and representation. Instead, IE helps us think about the institution as a vibrant community that can create excellence by embedding diversity throughout UBC.

Guiding Principles

Making excellence inclusive is a strategy and a practice, with the goal of achieving Inclusive Excellence at UBC.

The work we do to address inequities at UBC and to create a supportive campus for all students is premised on the following five principles.1,2

Cultural and social differences of learners enrich and enhance the University.
A welcoming campus community actively engages all of its diversity in the service of student and institutional learning.

Excellence cannot be achieved without inclusion.
We need structural and systemic support for all students, faculty, and staff in order for students to thrive, and for the university to achieve excellence in research and teaching.

Inclusion is more than just numbers.
It is not enough to welcome students from all backgrounds; their experience enriches the learning environment, and their wellbeing while attending matters.

Systems-change must be prioritized.
We need to examine policies, procedures, and practices, and set up measurable outcomes to keep the university accountable.

Collaboration and partnerships are key to success.
The Equity & Inclusion Office works collaboratively with partners and builds upon existing strengths.

Learn More: Recommended Resources

Making Excellence Inclusive: A Framework for Embedding Diversity and Inclusion into Colleges and Universities’ Academic Excellence Mission.
Authors: Alma Clayton-Pederson et al (2017).
Abstract: This short paper below discusses the history of Inclusive Excellence and provides a summary of how an Inclusive Excellence lens relates to the academic mission of a university.

Crucial Conversation on Lessons for Success: AU’s Plan for Inclusive Excellence [Video]
American University, Washington, DC
Abstract: American University President Sylvia M. Burwell hosted a Crucial Conversation with former HUD Secretary Julián Castro and higher education expert Dr. Alma Clayton-Pedersen on AU’s Plan for Inclusive Excellence and Lessons for Success.

Toward a Model of Inclusive Excellence and Change in Postsecondary Institutions.
Authors: Damon A. Williams, et. al., (2005).
Abstract: This paper offers a framework for comprehensive organizational change to help higher education institutions move toward Inclusive Excellence.

Achieving Equitable Educational Outcomes with All Students: The Institution’s Roles and Responsibilities.
Authors: Georgia L. Bauman, et. al., (2005)
Abstract: This paper highlights the responsibility institutions have to examine the impact that traditional higher education practices have on historically underserved students. 

Making Diversity Work on Campus: A Research-Based Perspective.
Authors: Jeffrey F. Milem, et. al., (2005)
Abstract: This paper demonstrates the benefits of diverse learning environments.

How Do You Achieve Inclusive Excellence in the Classroom?
Jennifer R. Considine et. al., (2017)
Abstract: After describing the historical roots of Inclusive Excellence (IE) and theories surrounding IE, the authors identify pedagogical strategies promoting equity for all students and factors that may interfere with the adoption of inclusive pedagogy.

Never Let It Rest: Lessons about Student Success from High-Performing Colleges and Universities.
Authors: George D. Kuh, et. al
Abstract: This article shares how an improvement-oriented ethos in organizations contributes to student success.



  1. Damon A. Williams, Joseph B. Berger, and Shederick A. McClendon, Toward a Model of Inclusive Excellence and Change in Postsecondary Institutions.
  2. Alma Clayton-Pedersen, Making Excellence Inclusive, pg. 20.