Inclusion as a Strategy for Excellence in the School of Medicine is the recognition that the institution’s success is dependent on how well it values, engages, and includes diverse faculty, staff, students, patients, and suppliers. More than a short-term project or a narrow initiative, this comprehensive approach requires a fundamental transformation of the School’s culture by embedding and practicing inclusion in every effort, aspect, and level of the institution. The goal is to make inclusion a norm that is implemented and practiced.
The concept of Inclusion as a Strategy for Excellence within the School of Medicine is a departure from a simplistic definition of diversity to a more inclusive, comprehensive, and omnipresent notion of inclusiveness that has the following features:
• Inclusiveness and Excellence are interdependent, as opposed to the traditional perspective that separates the two concepts. To practice inclusiveness is a demonstration of excellence.
• Shifts the responsibility for diversity and inclusiveness to everyone (administrators, faculty, staff, researchers, and students) within the School as opposed to one unit or department shouldering the responsibility for diversity. A department or person can guide the process, but every individual with the School, from the Dean to individual employees assumes responsibility for change.
• Shifts the School away from conceptualizing diversity solely as a numerical goal (numbers only) of diverse faculty, employees, vendors, and applicants to transforming the institution into a vibrant community that embeds diversity Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan throughout the institution in multiple areas including (but not limited to): demographics (numbers), policies, research, financial resources, leadership, hiring, organizational learning, organizational structure, marketing, outreach, technology, performance management, communications, promotion, assessment, and evaluation.
• Employs a broad and inclusive definition of diversity that includes disability, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, race/ ethnicity, nationality, and other t social dimensions that are important for the School and academic medicine.
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