Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), partnered with the Ford Foundation, has selected Eastern New Mexico University as a pilot institution in its new Inclusive Excellence: Diversity, Inclusion, and Institutional Renewal project. This project has been designed to explore how colleges and universities can embed campus diversity in campus cultures and institutional structures so that diversity becomes a resource toward the achievement of academic excellence for all students.
Other participating institutions include Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis, Occidental College, Prince George's Community College, Stanford University, State University of New York at Stony Brook, University of Akron, University of Louisville, and Wheaton College.
As defined by AAC&U, Inclusive Excellence draws upon decades of work to build more inclusive campus communities, new scholarship that has transformed disciplines, and extensive research on student learning. While access to higher education has increased dramatically over the past decades, troubling patterns of struggle and failure are emerging with respect to the success of under-represented minorities in colleges nationwide.
As the only Hispanic-serving institution selected for the Inclusive Excellence project, ENMU will provide leadership to the project reflecting its efforts toward increasing Hispanic student success on the main campus in Portales and branch campuses in Roswell and Ruidoso.
At campuses nationwide, diversity initiatives have existed often without coordination and integration. This Ford Foundation-funded initiative will explore disparities in achievement among under-represented groups in higher education and campus teams will undertake four primary objectives. First, each campus will work to embed diversity goals into institutional mission, structure, and practice. In addition, the nine universities will participate in AAC&U - sponsored forums aimed at institutionalizing campus diversity initiatives and sharing policies and practices which have been successful on their campuses. Finally, the nine partner campuses will pilot the application of preliminary resources developed within the Inclusive Excellence project as mechanisms for impacting campus inclusion efforts nationwide.
The selection process for this initiative involved an extensive review of campuses practices and curriculum. The nine campuses began work on the Inclusive Excellence project during an intensive five-day workshop in July which included presentations on campus efforts and plans for the project.
The ENMU team was led by Dr. K. Paul Jones, vice president for Academic Affairs and included Dr. Mary Ayala, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of Spanish, Dr. Suzanne Balch-Lindsay, director of Advising and associate professor of history, Steve Dixon, director of Title V Learning Communities, and Dr. Dann Brown, coordinator of Freshman Studies and associate professor of agriculture.
As the new academic year begins, the ENMU team will continue work on proposals to align institutional purposes, policies, structures and practices to encourage the engagement, inclusion, and high achievement of all students.
For more information, call Dann Brown at 505.562.2363.