Statement on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

Diversity and Inclusive Excellence at Roger Williams University

The RWU statement on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence was prepared by the President’s Council on Inclusive Excellence.  In developing the statement language, the Council circulated drafts to the university community, reviewed and incorporated written feedback, sponsored participatory campus forums, and reviewed internal and external definitions of diversity including but not limited to the following sources:

  • Existing definitions and statements from RWU faculty, staff and students including proposed definition language from the Faculty Senate Diversity Committee.
  • The concepts draw heavily from the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU), and include adaptations from the report Towards a Model of Inclusive Excellence and Change in Postsecondary Institutions *
  • Statements of philosophy on diversity and inclusion from other higher education institutions and professional organizations


Roger Williams University stands firmly committed to creating a campus that is diverse and inclusive as well as welcoming to and accepting of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ability, socio-economic class, age or spirituality.  A direct reflection of our University core values, diversity brings multiple perspectives to our community; cultivates the exchange and the challenge of new ideas; and honors varied traditions, cultures, points of view and perspectives. 

Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence, as defined by AACU, is the “active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity” in ways that increase our personal and social “awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathetic understanding” of one another. 

At Roger Williams University, we recognize and emphasize our responsibility to prepare students to live and work in an increasingly diverse and global society.  Inclusive Excellence is our institutional approach to support the advancement of cultural sensitivity and global awareness across campus and to build a culture that inspires diversity in every aspect of the university.   Inclusive Excellence is central to our role as a teaching institution, providing opportunities for greater learning, understanding and growth for all of our students within local and global contexts. Inclusive Excellence values a workforce that is reflective of and capitalizes on the intellectual potential of colleagues that will enrich the University. Our goal is to instill respect for each member of our community and to create, promote, and support an environment in which all members of the University community are provided opportunities to understand and respect diverse opinions and experiences.

*Adapted from the core principles of Inclusive Excellence as published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities at website: (April 16, 2012)

The statement on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence are not intended to replace the established Non-Discrimination policy of the University as published in the University Catalogue

Statement Adopted – November 2012