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Black Lives Matter

Learn how SSU is reaffir…


We can do better: as Salem State’s mission is one of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice, we must address the tragically present issue of social injustice that continues to happen in this country.


Vision Statement

One of the hallmarks of a great university is its genuine commitment to excellence in research, teaching and service to the community. An Inclusive Excellence university excels in these areas, but also values and practices inclusiveness, social justice and equity as values that are embedded into the heart and soul of the institution.

The concept of Inclusive Excellence (articulated and endorsed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities) moves a university away from a simplistic definition of diversity to a more inclusive, comprehensive, and omnipresent notion of inclusiveness; melds inclusiveness and academic excellence into one concept (to practice inclusiveness is excellence); shifts the responsibility for diversity and inclusiveness to everyone on campus as opposed to one unit or department shouldering the responsibility; and moves an institution away from conceptualizing diversity only in terms of a numerical goal of diverse constituents.

The focus becomes the transformation of a university into a vibrant community that embeds diversity and inclusiveness throughout the institution, including (but not limited to) demographics (numbers), curriculum, policies, enrollment, pedagogy, financial resources, diverse student learning outcomes, leadership, training, retention, student learning, marketing, technology, teaching, student advising, campus climate communications, administration, recruitment, hiring and promotion and tenure, assessment, institutional advancement, and evaluation. Inclusive Excellence employs a broad and inclusive definition of diversity that includes (but is not limited to) disability, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, social class,  language, age, religion, disability, race/ethnicity, nationality, veteran status, and other important social dimensions that are part of the campus community.

In sum, for the purpose of addressing inclusiveness at Salem State University, “Inclusive Excellence is defined as a strategy for transforming Salem State into an institution that conceptualizes inclusiveness and excellence as one in the same, makes inclusiveness ubiquitous, assigns responsibility for inclusiveness to everyone on campus, and utilizes a broad definition of inclusiveness.”


Education and Training Fall 2020 Series

The Inclusive Excellence office will offer professional development and competency building opportunities for Salem State staff, faculty, and students. Please see below for the education and training opportunities for the Fall 2020 semester. View the full lineup of events for the Inclusive Excellence Education and Training Fall 2020 Series.

The Model for Inclusive Excellence

  • Definitions understood
  • Strategic plan alignment
  • Mission alignment
  • Education reforms alignment
  • Accreditation
  • Historical and geographical context
  • Faculty knowledge and awareness
  • Faculty involvement and support
  • Faculty development and incentives
  • Academic departments
  • Faculty leadership
  • Faculty rewards
  • Knowledge and awareness in relation to different disciplines
  • Faculty teaching and learning strategies/methods
  • Student learning outcomes and assessment
  • Knowledge and awareness
  • Engagement and involvement
  • Incentives and rewards
  • Non-academic units
  • Knowledge and awareness
  • Opportunities
  • Involvement and engagement
  • Leadership
  • Incentives and rewards
  • Policies
  • Coordination
  • Commitment and participation
  • Hiring and retention
  • Diversity-focused positions
  • Professional development
  • Institutional research
  • Resource management

Leading for Change Higher Education Diversity Consortium

National Coalition Building Institute (MA Consortium)

Over the last year, Inclusive Excellence has collaborated to bring unique training and professional development opportunities to our campus community members.  In that same vein, Salem State University was invited to participate along with several other institutions in New England in a Train the Trainer Seminar hosted by the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) in August. This program was an intensive course that teaches participants how to lead the award-winning NCBI Welcoming Diversity Workshop and NCBI Controversial Issue Process.  

The National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) is a renowned international leadership organization that builds Leadership for Diversity resource teams and customized training in diversity, equity, and inclusion skills on college campuses, K-12 schools, corporations, government agencies and law enforcement worldwide. To learn more about NCBI please go to their website.

Summer 2018 NCBI Train the Trainer participants:

Leading for Change Consortium- Racial Equity and Justice Institute  (Bridgewater State University)

Since its inception in 2014, 25 campuses have used the consortium’s diversity benchmarks and data-informed processes in an effort to close achievement gaps. Beginning in September 2018, Leading for Change will offer campus teams the opportunity to participate in a year-long Racial Equity and Justice Institute. In addition to the two yearly summits (November 2018 and March 2019), campus teams will also receive expert support and assistance as they complete monthly projects intended to aid them in:

  • conducting data-informed diversity dialogues and workshops intended to improve campus climate; 
  • obtaining and using actionable data to close achievement gaps;
  • identifying, implementing, and assessing data-informed strategies and achievement gap interventions that enhance educational outcomes for students of color.

Team Member’s Name

Campus Role


Gail Gasparich

Working on Data-Driven Strategies for students

Kathy Neville

Working on Data-Driven Strategies

Franklin Chilaka

Student Engagement

Dericka Canada

Student Engagement

Guillermo Avila-Saavedra

Student Engagement/ Educational Strategies for Students

Lee Brossoit

Working on Data-Driven Strategies

Byan Boppert

Enrollment Trends & Student Services

Charnele Luster

Student Engagement

Sophie Evett

Working on Data-Driven Strategies for students

Anne Noonan

Educational Strategies for Faculty

Thomas Alexander

Student Engagement

Lauren Hubacheck

Student Engagement


HEED Award

INSIGHT Into Diversity HEED Award graphic

Salem State has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious 2017 INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. This award is the only national recognition honoring colleges and universities that show an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses.

Campus Climate Study

A group of diverse Salem State students gather outside

Campus Climate Study

The campus climate study measures current attitudes, behaviors and standards and practices of our campus so we can improve the college environment.


Contact Us

Sean Bennett
Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion

Nikki Pelonia
Director, Education and Training

For general questions, comments, and inquiries, email

Office Information

Administration Building, First Floor, Room 6, North Campus


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