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College of Business and Economics Inclusive Excellence Strategy

The College of Business and Economics at Boise State University is creating and implementing an Inclusive Excellence strategy to advance its diversity and inclusion goals. An Inclusive Excellence strategy is needed now more than ever because the current business, political and campus climates call for visible leadership and collaboration. The business community must lead to ensure human rights for all, and be intentional about seeking diverse experiences and representation within our organizations. This strategy serves not only to inspire and benefit from the celebration of diversity amongst our students, staff, faculty, and community, but also to express our intentionality around creating and maintaining an inclusive environment for all. It also aligns directly with our “CORe culture” developed by COBE faculty and staff to reinforce our collective commitment to collaboration and teamwork, opportunity, innovation and a long term focus, and respect, trust and civility

Diversity and inclusion are also strategic business and economic drivers. According to McKinsey & Company, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their peers and ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to do the same.¹ Additionally, a commitment to inclusion could help Boise State University and the Treasure Valley fair better with our unique geographic and geopolitical challenges to attracting and retaining top talent. The College of Business and Economics, therefore, plays a critical role in ensuring our future business leaders understand the necessity and the value of diversity and inclusion.

Inclusive Excellence at the College of Business and Economics

Inclusive Excellence is our strategy for both communicating and demonstrating that we value, seek, engage, promote and include a rich diversity of stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, campus and community members as a fundamental part of our success as a college.

This strategic plan outlines:

  • The mission and values of the College of Business and Economics (COBE).
  • Demographic information for Boise State University and the state of Idaho.
  • The four pillars in our Inclusive Excellence strategy, including our culture, our people, our community and our work.
  • The implementation tactic that will help us to meet our objectives in each pillar.
  • Our expected outcomes by the year 2020.

This strategy will serve as a flexible baseline to assist in achieving the objectives listed in this document, and will hold COBE accountable for making Inclusive Excellence a top priority in the next five years and beyond.

Mission and Values

Our dream is to be a collaborative, engaged and dynamic community of learners. We inspire our students and colleagues to achieve their full potential by creating and sharing relevant knowledge, skills and experiences for the benefit of local and global communities.

We value:

  • Respect
    We strive to be an inclusive, collegial community that values all forms of diversity. We are committed to integrity and ethical behavior in all that we do.
  • Responsibility
    We foster an environment that empowers students, staff and faculty. We are dedicated to accountability, transparency and fairness.
  • Relevance
    We address important business and societal issues by being effective, innovative and risk-tolerant. Our effectiveness is based on rigorous teaching and research, and a commitment to lifelong learning and community engagement.

Our Vision for Inclusive Excellence

In the College of Business and Economics, we will provide our students, faculty and staff with the tools to succeed in a diverse workforce. We aim to celebrate diversity and aspire to create an inclusive academic and workplace environment in the college. We will be known as the leading college of business in the Northwest for our commitment to inclusive excellence.

Boise State University’s Diversity Statistics

  • The 2015 student population for COBE comprises 60% male, 40% female; 73% white, 10% Hispanic/Latino, 6.5% nonresident alien, 3.2% two or more races, 2.6% race or ethnicity unknown, 2.2% Asian, 1.7% black or African American, 0.4% American Indian or Alaskan native, and 0.4% native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.²
  • The 2016 student population for Boise State University overall comprises 45% male, 54.6% female, 4.0% undeclared; 74.9% white, 10.3% Hispanic/Latino, 4.7% nonresident alien, 3.3% two or more races, 2.3% race or ethnicity unknown, 2.0% Asian, 1.6% black or African American, 0.5% American Indian or Alaskan native, and 0.4% native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.³
  • The 2015 employee population for COBE comprises 56% male, 44% female, 87% white, 5.5% Hispanic, 4.3% Asian, 1.2% black or African American, 1.2% two or more races, and 1.2% American Indian or Alaskan native.²
  • The 2015 Idaho overall population comprises 50.1% male, 49.9% female, 82.5% white, 12.2% Hispanic, 1.5% Asian, 0.8% black or African American, 2.3% two or more races, and 1.7% American Indian or Alaskan native, 0.2% Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander.⁴

The Four Pillars to Our Inclusive Excellence Strategy

Our culture

Make a college commitment to Inclusive Excellence by creating an intentional culture where we hold ourselves accountable for living our values, celebrating differences and inclusion.

Our people

Understand what inclusion means and feels like to our faculty, staff and students to ensure our college stakeholders feel valued, welcome and invited to make an impact.

Our community

Engage in the business community by offering resources and leadership to help increase diversity and inclusion throughout Treasure Valley.

Our work

Set a tone at the top in the College of Business and Economics that failure to improve our diversity and inclusion impacts is not an option and then hold ourselves accountable to transparent reporting and continuous improvement based on stakeholder feedback.

Implementation Goals to Support our Four Pillars

Our culture

  • Pilot the Inclusive Excellence Inventory in the college and then roll it out college-wide to understand the level of inclusiveness of our departmental and collective cultures (in collaboration with Boise State’s Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion).
  • Conduct focus groups with diverse students, faculty and staff within the college to understand our inclusion challenges and successes (in collaboration with Boise State’s Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion).
  • Create a social contract to identify the behaviors that do and do not correspond with our core values and signal to all members of our community the expectations we have of each other, including a section on respect and inclusion and our commitment to upholding all human rights.
  • Integrate findings from inventories and focus groups into intentional culture work ongoing in the college.
  • Review all recruitment platforms, orientation programs and onboarding processes to review whether and how inclusive excellence is communicated and suggest revisions as needed.
  • Consider how inclusion is or is not visually represented in our college (e.g. artwork) and consider commissioning artwork by students or faculty that celebrates differences or represents inclusion.
  • Create effective ways to address the behavior of a community stakeholder that is not consistent with the college’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence, and/or does not meet the standards expressed in our core values and social contract.
  • Collaborate with university partners on wider efforts to create Inclusive Excellence.

Our people

  • Create an ongoing review process to determine whether departments are receiving applications for openings from a more diverse applicant pool and whether there is any change over time. Review geographical representation of applications as well.
  • Review and revise job postings, interview protocols and offer packages annually to invite continuous improvement based on the most recent research on effectively ridding implicit bias in recruiting and hiring faculty.
  • Include a question as part of the hiring process that allows applicants to communicate their commitment to, and experience with, diversity and inclusion.
  • Create incentives to attract diverse candidates.
  • Ensure hiring committees represent diverse views and experiences in order to improve the recruiting and hiring process for faculty and staff.
  • Ensure that qualified diverse candidates are considered for leadership and committee roles within the college.
  • Provide training on issues and skills critical to inclusive excellence.
  • Expand and support training on inclusive pedagogy so that our classrooms become the primary place where inclusion is role modeled.
  • Track student recruitment and retention across majors to identify opportunities for increased diversity and better support for diverse students who are a minority in a field.
  • Track student retention for first generation college students, major affinity groups and international students to identify any signs of exclusion or struggle.
  • Allocate resources for supportive services to help students overcome achievement barriers specific to their experience.
  • Find ways for members of our community to publicly express what inclusion means or looks like to them; proactively include diverse college and community stakeholder groups in COBE conversations, committees, and decision-making process.
  • Find opportunities for the deans and other college leaders to present on diversity and inclusion both internally and externally to communicate the college’s belief that these issues are integral to, not optional or siloed from, business performance.

Our community

  • Engage with local CEOs and senior leaders to gain commitment to implement diversity improvements in their organizations and to talk about their work publicly.
  • Host several public events a year to educate on and celebrate diversity in our business community.
  • Offer external training on issues and skills critical to inclusive excellence to community stakeholders.
  • Consider requesting that companies recruiting at COBE demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion in their workplace.

Our work

  • As part of the Responsible Business Research project, an annual audit of the COBE curriculum, determine where courses, faculty research and faculty service include a focus on diversity and inclusion as it impacts the business community.
  • Allocate resources for priority projects related to our diversity and inclusion strategy.
  • Set the tone at top that failure to increase diversity and inclusion is not an option. Without top leadership support, our inclusive excellence strategy will fail.
  • Create safe space to discuss mistakes and implementation failures along the way. Being reflective and integrating the learning from those times is essential to progressing in our aspiration to be inclusive.
  • Aspire to be the change we want to see in the community, which includes role modeling our aspirations with internal and external stakeholders, transparently reporting on our progress and creating feedback loops internally and externally.
  • Remember that this is a relational process, not a transactional one. We will never be able to say we are done or that we have ‘solved’ the issue of diversity and inclusion in the college.

2020 Expected Outcomes

  • College stakeholders report a strong sense of belonging and demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully navigate and lead in a diverse world.
  • Intergroup disparities in the enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of undergraduate and graduate students are identified and work is underway to address them.
  • Faculty hiring and retention rates better reflect the rich diversity of the global and national talent pools.
  • Staff at all levels, including the executive and management levels, better reflect the rich diversity of local talent pools.
  • The college devotes appropriate resources to sustain and enhance equity, inclusion, and diversity on our campus and in our community.