RISE: Realizing Intersectional Standards of Excellence

KU’s mission is to, “Educate leaders, build healthy communities, and make discoveries that change the world.” When we “Realize Intersectional Standards of Excellence,” we contribute to the fulfilment of KU’s mission and vision by ensuring that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) are integral to every part of KU’s research, scholarship, teaching, service, community engagement, and support.

Furthermore, a purposeful and organized plan to improve DEIB across the institution is essential to securing HLC accreditation and keeping AAU membership. KU will not be competitive with peer and aspirant institutions until all Jayhawks understand and embody the reality that DEIB is not additive but rather essential to all parts of the institution. Thus, RISE offers an action-oriented framework which helps advance equity and social justice.

What is Intersectionality and why is it the concept we are using?

Intersectionality emerges from social justice scholarship. Intersectionality acknowledges that identities are dynamic and simultaneously affected by overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. The concept of intersectionality recognizes that people are adversely affected by infrastructures, laws, and practices that have historically impacted the academic, social, cultural, and economic outcomes for people based on their identities, such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, age, disability, nationality, veteran status, and other identities. 

RISE is a more progressive and contemporary interpretation of the widely used Inclusive Excellence framework, that attends to simultaneous and inseparable facets of identities. This model seeks to raise our collective consciousness around systems of inequity which directly affect KU students, staff, and faculty who experience compounding oppressions based on overlapping social identities.   

Intersectionality is the theoretical prism through which KU will make organizational change for better administrative, academic, organizational, social, and cultural well-being. RISE foregrounds diversity and human rights as a structural benchmark of excellence in KU’s institutional life. RISE helps lay the foundation for intentional organizational change and community accountability.

Four Priorities of RISE

  • Recruitment & Retention

  • Education, Research, and Scholarship

  • Campus Climate & Infrastructure

  • Community Engagement and Impact


Recruitment & Retention

Education, Research, and Scholarship


Campus Climate & Infrastructure

Community Engagement and Impact

Recruitment & Retention

Education, Research, and Scholarship


Campus Climate & Infrastructure

Community Engagement and Impact

Education & Resource Portal

These materials can help your unit realize intersectional standards of excellence.
DEIB Portal

History of RISE at KU

  • Spring 2021 – Former Interim Vice Provost for DEIB selects Inclusive Excellence as guiding framework.
  • Summer 2021 – Writing and development; test piloting by select offices
  • Fall 2021 – Input and revisions from DEIB Equity Advisors.
  • Winter 2022 – Inclusive Excellence Toolkit Rollout
  • Spring 2022 – DEIB Team evaluated continued use of Inclusive Excellence
  • Summer 2022 – Strategic Alignment with Jayhawks Rising and transformation from Inclusive Excellence to RISE

Phases of Campus-Wide Implementation

Phase 1 - Spring to Fall 2022

  • Equity Advisors (Assistant/Associate Deans and Assistant/Associate Vice Provosts) complete their unit's self-study.

Phase 2 - Summer 2022

  • Transformation from Inclusive Excellence to RISE

Phase 3 - Academic Year 2022 to 2023

  • Equity Advisors move to strategic planning and addressing which objectives will be acted upon immediately.
  • In collaboration with the KU Libraries and Center for Teaching Excellence, a resource portal is developed to address specific needs of department level change-makers.

Timeline for Phase 1

  • Inclusive Excellence Toolkit Available – February 11
  • Self-Study Process – February 11 to May 13
    • Led by Equity Advisors (ADs and AVPs)
  • Collaboration & Help Session – February 1
  • Collaboration & Help Session – February 23
  • Progress Report Due to DEIB – March 4
  • Collaboration & Help Session – March 11
  • Collaboration & Help Session – March 22
  • Collaboration & Help Session – April 11
  • Collaboration & Help Session – April 26
  • Self-Study Report Due to DEIB – May 13