WPI’s approach to diversity, inclusion, and equity makes our campus a community where members feel an authentic sense of belonging. The unique lens each of us brings to WPI makes our campus better. We want this community to be one of safety and welcome—a place where community members feel their actions contribute to progress and positive change. When we all work together, it frees our students to do what they do best—learn and make new discoveries that will change the world.
Together we are a force more powerful than any one of us. Our experiences, identities, beliefs, and backgrounds bring valuable perspectives that make WPI distinctive. We are a university of great minds multiplied.
At WPI, we know how important diversity, inclusion, and equity are in having a welcoming and accepting community. But diversity and inclusion don’t mean the same thing and the words aren’t interchangeable.
As part of our efforts to make conversations and strategies more consistent, WPI will use specific definitions when talking about these topics. Following the definitions set by of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE), an organization committed to a collaborative change process in higher education, WPI has established guidelines for what we mean when we talk about these topics. NERCHE convened a group of prominent, expert chief diversity officers across New England to define the terms "diversity," "inclusion," and "equity."
Individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, physical or cognitive abilities, as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning.
The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in people, in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical). This engagement with diversity has the potential to increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.
Creating opportunities for equal access and success for historically underrepresented populations, such as racial and ethnic minority and low-income students, in three main areas:
- Representational equity: the proportional participation at all levels of an institution
- Resource equity: the distribution of educational resources in order to close equity gaps
- Equity-mindedness: the demonstration of an awareness of and willingness to address equity issues among institutional leaders and staff
WPI's Values Statement
We are a community that stands for civility and respect. We stand for acceptance of others and champion those who may need compassion and understanding. We are an inclusive community that respects peaceful discord and upholds a fundamental belief that all members of our community deserve to feel safe. Our collective mix of thoughts and experiences enrich those fundamental values that have long guided our university. As we navigate through times of change, know that our values remain.