Monday, September 19, 2011

Your Air Force In Action

From the archives of The USAFA Educator, Fall 2006

DF’s Inclusive Excellence Initiative

Col Rita Jordan, Professor and Head, Department of Management

Higher education is at a defining moment as institutions of learning look to educate students to become multiculturally proficient, informed about the human and natural world, and empowered to act responsibly and with moral courage in a fast-changing, stratified, and globally interdependent world.

Globalization is changing the face of the world, making it more competitive, both economically and intellectually.  The United States cannot expect to continue as leader if its largest pools of talent remain untapped.  Therefore, organizations are aspiring to a more heterogeneous workforce, one that enables leadership to draw upon the abilities and perspectives of all members to offer a range of creative solutions.

Higher education is responsible for producing this next generation of leaders, of all races and ethnicities, who can be agents of change and who will lead people and ideas in diverse workplaces.  Multicultural skills and knowledge now are integral to the flexible, inquisitive, and synergistic thinking that is a hallmark of an educated person.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has had a long standing interest in diversity efforts that value die contributions of all students. This initiative is known as "Inclusive Excellence." In an inclusive excellence curriculum, faculty create appropriate learning experiences that chart pathways of success for all students.  To better understand AAC&U's initiative, two key definitions are offered:

  • Diversity - individual differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, country of origin, cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning.
  • Inclusion - consists of an active, intentional, and on-going engagement with diversity in people, in the curriculum, and in the communities (social, cultural, intellectual, and geographical) with which individuals might connect in ways that would increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.

The Dean of Faculty's Inclusive Excellence Initiative is a developmental approach which extends beyond merely increasing the number of women and minorities on faculty.  It also seeks to develop and enhance faculty understanding of the value and importance of inclusion resulting in integration of multicultural experience opportunities with course learning goals. Inclusive excellence is fundamental to DF's Learning Focused Initiative and integrally linked to USAFA's educational outcomes.

3 comments:

Elusive Wapiti said...

Nice mortarboard on your avatar. Sweet.

This quote gives the farm away:

"Higher education is responsible for producing this next generation of leaders, of all races and ethnicities, who can be agents of change"

That young military officers are being recruited as change agents for the multi-kulti agenda should be a sobering thought for everyone who thinks that the military should execute public policy, not be a stalking horse for the left-illiberal agenda.

Professor Hale said...

The beginning and end of military departments is that they are first and foremost, branches of the federal government ans subject to the whims of those elected and appointed officials over them. This is not an accident. It is by design. No doubt, a military dictator would enact policies that produce better military efficiency but that is not the founding principle of our government or our military.

I see it as one measure of our strength that we cn support so much waste and still be good at oppressing people all around the world.

I learned a long time ago that diversity and inclusion are code for "white guys need not apply". in such places, real excellence will be rejected in favor of someone with the right genetic credentials. Only when there is no one else, or when the organization needs at least one real workhorse to add to teh stable of showhorses does teh white guy resume get considered.

Dr. Φ said...

No doubt, a military dictator would enact policies that produce better military efficiency but that is not the founding principle of our government or our military.

Well said.

The reason I want to highlight these kind of stories is that red-state America labors under the misapprehension that the military is somehow "our" part of the government. Sure, we had to observe the usual political sensitivities, but only through gritted teeth; they did not constitute our essence. Certainly I myself joined believing it was a bastion of . . . well, something, but not this!

Looking back on it, I find precious little evidence for my belief, and much to the contrary. I have come to realize that what I had been chalking up as anomalies are, in fact, the product of the military's dominant mode.

This needs more recognition than it receives.