According to the 2007 strategic plan, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs is charged with providing opportunities for higher education to the general public, and offering critical research and cultural development opportunities for the betterment of the broader public good. In accordance with CU’s goal of inclusive excellence, the office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) strives to be inclusive of our entire community, regardless of social or cultural identity, background, perspective or origin. Historically, certain social groups have been excluded from, and marginalized within, public higher education, thereby creating legacies of advantage and disadvantage. DEI, therefore, promotes the principles of equity and diversity—which are defined within a domestic context and a specific historical, social, and cultural framework—and an intellectual environment that is inclusive of all stakeholders in order to overcome the historical legacies of exclusion.
The office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is committed to promoting these principles and ideals not only to correct current and historical shortcomings in the University's service to the public, but also to contribute directly to the quality of learning for all who participate in university education both inside and outside the classroom. Diversity programming and curriculum—which DEI cultivates, promotes and supports—does not solely benefit groups that have historically been excluded or marginalized and oppressed, it simultaneously contributes excellence to the education and experience of all UCCS students. To realize this potential requires more than seeking to diversify the composition of our student body, staff, faculty and administration along ethnic and racial lines. An equally important challenge is for members of the university community to engage fully across social, cultural and national differences, and to integrate lessons from distinct cultural perspectives into their development of knowledge, skills, and character.
Demographic changes in the U.S. population and increased global interconnections have drawn broad attention to the need for diversity programming and curriculum within institutions of higher education. Acquiring the cultural intelligence to work effectively with people representing diverse backgrounds and experiences requires an informed understanding of others and, perhaps most critically, an informed understanding of one's own social and cultural origins. In other words, cultural responsiveness is based on integrating the awareness, knowledge-base, and learned skills required to effectively and sensitively educate, supervise, work with and serve people from diverse backgrounds and social identities. A UCCS education is a journey of self-discovery, designed to impart training in scholarly traditions and methods of knowledge acquisition as well as awareness of others’ perspectives and experiences. Diversity within the UCCS community engenders multicultural awareness and empathetic understanding.