The IDEAS Framework

  • Inclusion consists of our active, intentional, ongoing and collective efforts to create a community that embraces difference and that welcomes, respects, supports and values every individual or group. Inclusion entails our desire to work toward a campus climate that fosters a sense of belonging, relationship building and community building across difference.
  • Diversity is defined as our acknowledgment and embrace of the full range of psychological, physical, and social differences that exist within and outside the Rhodes community such as race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, social class, education, language, age, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, veteran or military status, and learning style.
  • Equity refers to our efforts to 1) ensure fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement; 2) identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation and recognition of some groups; and 3) correct historical and current imbalances in providing effective opportunities to historically underserved and underrepresented populations.
  • Accessibility consists of our efforts to ensure that our facilities are readily usable by all members of our community; that classes, programs and activities are presented or provided in such a way that all members can participate, with or without auxiliary aid(s); and that print materials and electronic resources are available in accessible format for anyone who uses assistive technology.
  • Strategies involve our collective plan for determining how resources should be created and allocated to accomplish our goals in a coordinated, systematic and intentional way. Strategies encompass our efforts to ensure that our inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility work is comprehensive and institutionalized.

Taken together, our multifaceted concerns and approach are referred to as our IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Strategies) framework. The current efforts and initiatives highlighted below will be encompassed in our three-year IDEAS plan and will be updated regularly. Challenges associated with inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility have been identified via campus commissions, consultant reports, stakeholder interviews and institutional data.

The three-year IDEAS plan is discussed in the final section of this report. An initial draft will be ready to share with committees and stakeholders in October 2020