Inclusive Excellence

Simon Fraser University is committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive community where all feel welcome, safe, accepted and appreciated. We recognize that to do this effectively means to align our work towards academic quality, diversity and inclusion, and organizational excellence. It will take all of us, working together to maintain an environment of inclusive excellence that we can be proud to be part of.

Our Expectations

We expect all within the SFU community and those who access our premises to make every effort to help us maintain our commitment to inclusive excellence. The following expectations align our commitments to academic quality, organizational excellence and a culture where we achieve equitable outcomes for all who work, live, teach and learn at SFU.

We will achieve a culture of inclusive excellence by:


Our values guide us as individuals and as an institution. Given the recent refresh of our values and commitments outlined in What’s Next: The SFU Strategy, we are working to embed these values in every decision and every action, and hold ourselves accountable for doing so.

See What’s Next: The SFU Strategy


We commit to a culture of inquiry where the free and critical discussion of ideas are exercised responsibly, in ways that recognize and respect the dignity of others. Academic freedom allows us to ask hard questions to advance knowledge and understanding on a wide range of topics from a wide range of perspectives, so long as we maintain a safe and respectful dialogue for all when doing so. Adapted from CAUT Policy Statement on Academic Freedom and the SFU Faculty Association Collective Agreement

See Strategic Research Plan


We model behaviour that demonstrates respect for each other and ensures other members of the university community can learn, live and work in a positive and constructive environment.

Adapted from Student Code of Conduct


Bullying and harassment of any kind is prohibited at SFU. All members of the university community are expected to refrain from engaging in or condoning bullying and harassment and take action to minimize or prevent its occurrence.

See Bullying and Harassment Policy GP 47


An environment in which discrimination based on personal characteristics is neither acceptable nor tolerated allows for the full and free participation of all members of the university community. We will work together to contribute to the reduction and prevention of discrimination at SFU. 

See Human Rights Policy GP18


We recognize the diversity of the university community and understand that each person will be affected differently by physical or psychological incidents or risks. We value and promote the health and well-being of our community, working collaboratively to enhance safety of students, faculty, staff, contractors, visitors and the public. Adapted from GP 44, Campus Public Safety Mandate and the Steering Committee on Personal Safety

See GP 44

Navigating our Network of Supports

SFU has a number of dedicated offices in place to help support our community members through difficult situations and where possible, provide further protection from harm. These offices provide supports to faculty, staff and students who share or disclose their experience. In some cases, the offices may recommend a report be submitted, and next steps will be reinforced through SFU policies and procedures.

See our Community Supports page.

Creating Awareness and Learning

We all have a role to play in advancing a culture of inclusive excellence at SFU, aligning our academic, organizational and equity initiatives to move us forward. To support our individual and collective learning, SFU offers several educational opportunities.

Learn more about Inclusive Excellence at SFU.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

SFU Experience:

External resources:

Toward a Model of Inclusive Excellence and Change in Postsecondary Institutions.

Authors: Damon A. Williams, et. al., (2005). More info LinkedIn
Associate Vice Chancellor, Vice Provost, and Chief Diversity Officer at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Awarded the Inclusive Excellence Award of Leadership from NADOHE.

Abstract: This paper offers a framework for comprehensive organizational change to help higher education institutions move toward Inclusive Excellence.

How Do You Achieve Inclusive Excellence in the Classroom?

Authors: Jennifer R. Considine et. al., (2017) LinkedIn
Professor & Dept. Chair at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Consultant for addressing communication challenges and cultural change in organizations.

Abstract: After describing the historical roots of Inclusive Excellence (IE) and theories surrounding IE, the authors identify pedagogical strategies promoting equity for all students and factors that may interfere with the adoption of inclusive pedagogy.

Achieving Equitable Educational Outcomes with All Students: The Institution’s Roles and Responsibilities.

Authors: Georgia L. Bauman, et. al., (2005) Associate director and postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Urban Education, Rossier School of Education

Abstract: This paper highlights the responsibility institutions have to examine the impact that traditional higher education practices have on historically underserved students.

Making Excellence Inclusive: A Framework for Embedding Diversity and Inclusion into Colleges and Universities’ Academic Excellence Mission.

Authors: Alma Clayton-Pederson et al (2017). LinkedIn
CEO: Emeritus Consulting Group - uses organizational development principles to assist nonprofit, public and education entities in enhancing their efficacy. Phd from Vanderbilt University – Policy Development & Program Evaluation

Abstract: This short paper discusses the history of Inclusive Excellence and provides a summary of how an Inclusive Excellence lens relates to the academic mission of a university.

Inclusive Excellence Principles, Universities Canada

Abstract: Seven principles that guide universities across Canada to follow 

Did you know?

The term “inclusive excellence” was first coined by Alma R. Clayton-Pederson more than 20 years ago while she was a vice-president at the American Association of Colleagues and Universities (AAC&U). At the time, AAC&U launched the “Making Excellence Inclusive” initiative to help post-secondary campuses:

  • Establish diversity and inclusion as hallmarks of academic excellence and institutional effectiveness
  • Operationalize diversity and inclusion in all spheres and at all levels of campus functioning
  • Ensure academic freedom and corollary responsibilities are understood and practiced by students and faculty alike, and
  • Create a reinvigorated, 21st century educational process that has diversity and inclusion at the centre, through which all students advance in cognitive, affective and interpersonal sophistication—outcomes that are vital in the workforce and in society. This work is grounded in the belief that excellence and equity are inextricably linked and that excellence in undergraduate education cannot be achieved without eradicating the systems and structures embedded within it that advantage some at the expense of others.

As outlined in the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism, signed by SFU and more than 40 other post-secondary institutions in Canada, “excellence encompasses the ability of universities and colleges to educate and to innovate; to be alive to complexity and proactive in the face of crisis; to foster fundamental questioning through rigorous, respectful engagements across difference; and to enable societal transformation.”

Today, many universities across North America, including SFU, apply the principle of inclusive excellence to guide the spirit of their work in fostering inclusion in their institutions and across the post-secondary sector.