Inclusive Excellence for Student Success

About

Inclusive Excellence for Student Success (IESS) is a newly formed office at UM as of February 2021. UM students, the Diversity Advisory Council, and UM Administration collaboratively created IESS with the understanding that an inclusive campus is necessary if we are to achieve institutional excellence. The creation of this office will help ensure we more appropriately address the day-to-day needs and concerns of Students of Color and LGBTQ Students while also recognizing them as vitally important members of our community. The creation of the Office of Inclusive Excellence for Student Success is the first of many steps towards addressing growing calls to action.

Inclusive Excellence for Student Success (IESS) is a student-centered office designed to support our diverse community and engage in diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racist efforts at UM. IESS is a component of the university's mission to foster inclusive excellence on our campus and fulfill UM's commitment to place student success at the center of all we do. IESS works directly with underrepresented students to both lift up and give strength to their events and ideas, as well as address any concerns or issues students may have with the University, their peers, or the Missoula community.

What is Inclusive Excellence?

Inclusive excellence was developed by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU) with the intent to advance greater intentionality in inclusion and diversity work in higher education settings.

The AACU defines Inclusive Excellence as "a proactive effort to address diversity, inclusion, and equity as critical to the wellbeing of democratic culture and is an active process through which colleges and universities achieve excellence in learning, teaching, student development, institutional functioning, and engagement in local and global communities."

What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?

The Education Advisory Board (EAB) defines diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to aid university leaders as they cultivate, foster, and promote DEI efforts on university campuses.

  • Diversity is the representation of all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another.
  • Equity is evaluating systems and institutions to identify and remove biases in the distribution of opportunities and resources.
  • Inclusion is ensuring differences are welcomed, different perspectives are respectively heard, and every individual feels a sense of belonging.

Services

In an effort to address the DEI needs of our students on the UM campus, IESS is focused on three service areas:

Student Support

Student Support is at the center of all IESS services. IESS provides guidance and mentorship to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and LGBTQ students and student groups. Students are encouraged to utilize the Branch Center and connect with IESS.

Students needing support around issues of bias or for help with connecting to student groups focused on diversity and inclusion are asked to connect with IESS. If you or a student you know needs support, please reach out.

For support, please email salena1.hill@umontana.edu, or call (406) 243-5776, or visit the UC Branch Center, Room 206.

Learning Sessions

DEI learning sessions are focused on the common terminology used in DEI and expanding understanding to promote awareness around DEI issues. For more information and instructions on how to request specific learning sessions, please see the descriptions below.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Learning Session

In collaboration with the Student Advocacy Resource Center (SARC), IESS provides a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Learning Session for students. During this learning session, participants are provided definitions of D, E, and I, and microaggressions, discrimination, and harassment are explained. UM's Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation policies are outlined, which leads into an explanation of the Title IX/Equal Opportunity Office. The learning session focuses on how we can foster a culture of respect at UM by suggesting certain action steps. During the conclusion, various resources for students including safe spaces and supportive services are introduced. (90 minutes)

To request a training, please visit the SARC website.

Chat with the Director

Each week, the Director of Inclusive Excellence holds office hours to consult on DEI issues in the classroom, in student support programming, and events on campus. Please feel free to drop in with questions or concerns. Office hours are hosted with the goal of creating a space for open and honest conversations around DEI issues in a non-judgmental setting.

To find out when office hours will be held each semester, please visit GrizHub.

UM Allies

UM Allies promotes LGBTQ equality through education, support, and awareness. UM Allies training provides an opportunity for UM staff and faculty, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, to take a prominent and active role in fostering and upholding a culture of safety and inclusion at UM.

For more information about becoming an Ally or to request a training, please visit the UM Allies website.

Campus Engagement

IESS supports UM’s efforts to implement UM’s Institutional Diversity Plan by working with colleges, departments, and other units in creating a welcoming environment for all students. IESS collaborates with the efforts of the Diversity Advisory Council and other campus groups to advance DEI and anti-racism goals.

Resources & Events

Inclusive Excellence for Student Success has developed several resources and events to better support and celebrate BIPOC and LGBTQ students.

Resources

These forms are still in development but are coming soon!

  • Bias Response Team
  • BIPOC Student Group Support

Events

Please see the Events Page for dates and times.

  • Branch Center Student Leaders Meeting
  • Networking in the Branch Center
  • Chat with Director of Inclusive Excellence
  • Popcorn Thursdays
  • Branch Center Open House
  • Writing Center Tutor in the Branch Center

Contact

Salena Beaumont Hill, PhD.
Director of Inclusive Excellence
Branch Center, UC 201, Suite 206
salena1.hill@umontana.edu
(406) 243-5776