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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan

The University of Dayton affirms that diversity, equity, and inclusion are inextricably linked with excellence. Diversity at all levels of the University enriches and creates an optimal learning environment and expands our institutional ability, intelligence, and creativity; building an inclusive community with equity for all members is fully aligned with our Marianist charism – Eric F. Spina, President

The primary objective of this strategic plan is to make a significant contribution to the achievement of the University’s Strategic Vision and the advancement of its mission. This plan is informed by a critical and honest examination of our past; a comprehensive assessment of our present situation; and a commitment to adapt to a changing world where our students will learn, lead and serve with excellence in pursuit of the common good. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is not an option; it is a mission-driven imperative – Lawrence A. Q. Burnley, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion.


The University’s strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion is centered around four overarching strategic goals: 


Create and sustain an equitable and inclusive campus climate 


Achieve and sustain greater diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the University community 


Create a robust curricular and co-curricular architecture to advance diversity, equity and inclusion 


Develop, implement, assess and report on unit-based strategic plans to advance inclusive excellence 


DIVERSITY: The presence, recognition and engagement of people of social, political and organizational identities from the wide range of human experiences, and the complex ways these identities intersect and are expressed.

EQUITY: A process of modifying structures and practices that have intentionally or unintentionally advantaged or disadvantaged groups of people; it is a process that responds to unjust structural outcomes to create laws, policies, practices and traditions that support just outcomes for all.

GLOBAL: Describes complex, interdependent and intersecting worldwide systems (e.g., environmental, sociocultural, economic and political), legacies and implications.

INCLUSION: A process and practice of active, intentional and sustained engagement of each person in the community that values and respects their perspectives, multiple identities, experiences and contributions.

INCLUSIVE CLIMATE: A climate that cultivates practices, policies and traditions that include diverse people and perspectives, especially those from historically and systemically oppressed, underrepresented and underserved populations.

INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE: Recognizes that diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental to academic and institutional excellence. Inclusive excellence requires a comprehensive, cohesive and collaborative alignment of infrastructure, resources and actions.

INTERGROUP/INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCY: The process of listening, learning and reflecting to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and commitments to engage across diverse groups in open, effective and socially responsible ways.

INTERFAITH: Engagement, cooperation and/or dialogue across lines of religious or worldview difference that involves forming relationships, fostering positive attitudes and developing appreciative knowledge among people who orient around religion differently.

INTERSECTIONALITY: A framework for conceptualizing interlocking oppressions based on the interconnected nature of historically and systemically oppressed, underrepresented and underserved groups. As identities do not exist independently of each other, intersectionality makes visible the complex convergence of overlapping and interdependent systems of privilege and oppression.

MULTICULTURAL: The presence of people with diverse identities and social locations that appear in beliefs, values and norms, which include behaviors,  assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative styles.

MULTI-ETHNIC: The presence of members of a variety of ethnic groups with a shared history, kinship and geographical location, and the recognition of the historical influence and impact of their commonality.

MULTI-FAITH: The presence and celebration of a diversity of religious identities and worldviews regarding the transcendent.

PRIVILEGE: Names the advantages, favors and benefits conferred on members of dominant groups at the expense of members of marginalized, underrepresented or underserved groups. It operates and conveys power on personal, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels. The scope and depth are largely invisible to those who have it.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: The work to eliminate historic and systemic oppression and to build systems and cultures of human dignity where rights, accountability, equity, inclusion and access to the common good create conditions for people and communities to realize their full potential.

SUPPLIER DIVERSITY: The proactive integration of minority-owned, woman owned, veteran-owned, disabled owned, and other small, disadvantaged businesses into the development and execution of institutional direct and indirect spending.

UNDERREPRESENTED POPULATION: Describes the extent to which the proportion of certain U.S. racial/ethnic groups relative to the total campus population fails to mirror their proportion in the broader U.S. population. For our purposes, the term underrepresented populations refers to members of the student body, faculty, staff, administration, parents, trustees, alumni and guests who self-identify with real and socially constructed human dimensions of race and ethnicity, including American/Alaskan Native, Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic/Chicanx, Asian American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander American, biracial or multiracial, and gender identification.

UNDERSERVED POPULATION: Refers to members of the student body, faculty, staff, administration, parents, trustees, alumni and guests who may not have access to full benefits of economic, social and political opportunity. Dimensions may include race, religion/spirituality/faith, ethnicity, ability, national origin, immigration status, sex, gender identity, gender expression, attractionality/sexual orientation, social class/socioeconomic status and language. (This list is not exhaustive.)


Office of Diversity and Inclusion

St. Mary's Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1626