Inclusive Excellence at Saint Mary's College
"To achieve inclusive excellence, we must, as a college, create the structures, processes and behaviors that enable us to value difference. We must create the conditions in which those who are afraid to speak learn to gain their voice, on their own terms, at their own pace. And those who have already been speaking need to listen, acknowledge and show respect for what they hear."
— Provost Bethami Dobkin
At the annual De La Salle week convocation in 2008, Brother José Cervantes articulated the interconnection of the Saint Mary’s College mission and the creation of inclusive community. He remarked that truth “is not found in the clarity of a single vision, but in the intricate road of various partial notions, in the confrontation between diverse theories, and in the use of all kinds of tools.” As we move forward on our path to inclusion, we will build “faith in our capacity to search for the truth together, and, as a consequence, the possibility to build a common house where we can find and recognize ourselves and recognize others.” The commitment to increasing the quality of engagement across difference has come to distinguish Saint Mary’s College as a model of inclusive excellence.
The College Committee on Inclusive Excellence (CCIE) at Saint Mary’s was established to advance the College’s path to inclusive community and promote a campus culture in which all of its members – students, staff and faculty alike – are valued, respected and supported.The CCIE continues decades of work on campus to ensure that our Catholic mission and Lasallian core principles of dignity and inclusive community are actively lived and experienced by all. Its members are dedicated to developing a campus environment that welcomes new ideas, where learning happens through meaningful engagement with people from diverse backgrounds and where students are encouraged to reflect on their experiences and to see the world from fresh perspectives.
Since it was first formed in the Spring of 2008, the CCIE functioned as an important agent in campus change. The CCIE is led by the provost, who co-chairs the committee with a faculty or staff member. Initial membership was drawn from the executive and strategic leaders of the campus, including Cabinet members, Christian Brothers, and staff and faculty leadership. It has grown to include additional members with individual commitment to and expertise in diversity and inclusion issues.Through the development of policies and procedures; participation of CCIE members in activities across campus; programs such as InteractiveTheatre and the creation of a Bias Incident ResponseTeam; support for the Women’s Resource and the Intercultural Centers; and recruitment of underrepresented students, staff and faculty, Saint Mary’s has invested in the College becoming, and continuing to be, a more inclusive community.
The work of inclusion is never done. However, significant progress has been made at Saint Mary’s to be ever-more inclusive and successfully carry out its mission of creating a student-centered, educational community whose members support one another with mutual understanding and respect.