OID’s guidance for diversity, equity and inclusion learning consists of nine strategic priorities for student, faculty, and staff cultural competence.

While not exhaustive, OID’s guidance is comprehensive and attends to competencies at interpersonal, institutional, structural and global levels and is overlaid on the American Psychological Association's Layered Ecological Model of the Multicultural Guidelines.

OID’s guidance serves as a “place to begin” and a platform from which any member of the OSU community can make sense of cultural competence and chart a path for their learning, the learning of others and the transformation of their respective organizations.


OID’s guidance for diversity, equity and inclusion learning has many applications. We intend our guidance to have utility for all constituents of Oregon State University for integration in personal, organizational and community development. When reviewing this content, please be mindful that:

  • This guidance serves as a meta-curriculum for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) learning. Our guidance is not intended for use as a single workshop or lesson plan, rather these guidelines are intended to help other educators, facilitators and self-directed learners shape their own learning experiences in a manner which best fits their personal, professional and academic contexts. Our guidance has utility in developing numerous learning interventions as well as informing strategic planning, curriculum development and assessment.
  • This guidance is not prescriptive, nor is it exhaustive. There are innumerable ways that we can learn and grow with respect to issues of DEI. This guidance attempts to organize and curate foundational domains of DEI learning and enable planning, action and reflection. DEI learning is complex and lifelong. It requires resources and perspectives beyond this guidance.
  • This guidance intends to guide learning for both individuals and organizations. Learning is not a wholly individual endeavor, and urgent cultural and structural change requires engaging this content as a community.
  • This guidance aligns with and amplifies Oregon State University’s institutional goals, detailed in Strategic Plan 4.0. The following competencies are indicative of Inclusive Excellence and essential for the success of our institution.
  • This guidance attempts to illustrate diversity, equity and inclusion learning in diverse institutional contexts – the following delineations between instructional, research, management, service and community contexts are not concrete, and the content of these illustrations may have value for any constituent of the institution. 

Individual learners (administrators, faculty, staff, students and community members) may find this guidance useful in the following ways:

  • A departure for reflection
  • An resource for the evaluation of individual competence
  • A framework to developing learning goals and set a personal learning agenda

Teams and leaders within organizations may find this guidance useful in the following ways:

  • A framework to cultivate shared language to enable discussion and dialogue
  • A reference tool when developing position descriptions, performance evaluations, or other standards
  • A baseline for assessment tools
  • A resource and companion document for strategic planning
  • A resource for team members and supervisors to articulate feedback to co-workers, supervisees and supervisors


  • Context and Complexity3 — Critical and comprehensive knowledge of DEI issues informed by diverse sources and potentially conflicting perspectives.
  • Cultural Self-Awareness5,8 — Insight into one’s own identities and social group experiences and their affiliated values, rules and biases. Insight includes examination of social group experiences in local, regional and global contexts.
  • Ethical Self-Awareness4 — Insight into one’s core beliefs and deep examination of the origins of those core beliefs.
  • Foundations of Community and Belonging12 — Awareness of the physical, organizational and social conditions that lend to community, involvement, inclusion and safety.
  • Foundations of Power, Privilege and Oppression5 — Understanding multiple worldviews and cultural experiences through dimensions of power, privilege and oppression. Understanding includes recognition of the complexity and interdependence of these systems.
  • Knowledge of Diverse Worldviews8 — Understanding of the complexity of elements important to members of other cultures in relation to multiple dimensions, including history, values, politics, communication styles, economy, or beliefs and practices.


  • Conflict Management11 — Ability to address unproductive conflict directly and constructively, in a manner that helps to manage or resolve in ways that strengthen the cohesiveness and future effectiveness of the relationship or team.
  • Constructive Collaboration1,11 — Ability to facilitate productive and affirming intergroup collaborations to work across and within diverse community contexts and structures to achieve mutual aims. This includes attending to language, tone, expressions and behaviors that cultivate group connection and momentum.
  • Critical Literacy3,6 — Ability to choose information sources which are appropriate to the scope and discipline of a problem or question. Information is selected with consideration to the importance of the multiple criteria such as authority, audience, bias, or point of view. Viewpoints of experts are questioned thoroughly.
  • Empathy5,8 — Ability to interpret intercultural experiences from one’s own perspectives and the perspectives of others with the ability to act in a supportive manner that recognizes the meaning, making and feelings of other individuals and cultural groups. Also includes the ability to evaluate and apply diverse perspectives to complex issues in the face of multiple and possibly conflicting points of view.
  • Ethical Reasoning4 — Ability to recognize ethical issues when presented in a complex, multilayered context. Includes the ability to take a position and state the objections to, assumptions and implications of and can reasonably defend against the objections to, assumptions and implications of different ethical perspectives with adequacy and effectiveness.
  • Ideation and Innovation2 — Ability to extend a novel or unique idea, question, format, or intervention to create new knowledge and practices, or knowledge and practices that cross boundaries. This includes the ability to transform ideas or solutions into entirely new forms.
  • Integrative Learning1,7 — Ability to connect and extend knowledge from one learning experience to multiple personal, professional and academic contexts. This includes the ability to independently adapt and apply skills, abilities, theories or methodologies gained in one situation to new situations to solve difficult problems or explore complex issues in original ways.
  • Intercultural Communication8 — A complex understanding of cultural differences in verbal and nonverbal communication and the ability to skillfully negotiate a shared understanding based on those differences. Also includes the ability to tailor communication strategies to effectively express, listen and adapt to others to establish relationships to further understanding and collaboration.
  • Problem Solving10 — Ability to clearly and insightfully discern a problem with evidence of all relevant contextual factors and identify multiple approaches for solving the problem that attend to the specificity of the context.
  • Reflection7,9  — Ability to review prior learning in depth to reveal significantly changed perspectives about educational, work and life experiences, which provides a foundation to further expand knowledge, growth and maturity over time. Also includes the ability to build on prior experiences to respond to new and challenging contexts and envision a more capable future self.
  • Tolerance for Uncertainty2 — Motivation to seek out and follow through on untested and potentially risky directions or approaches to reach a goal or resolve an issue. This includes the ability to fully integrate alternate, divergent or contradictory perspectives or ideas.


  • Curiosity8,9 — Motivation to ask complex questions about other cultures and seek out and articulate answers to these questions that reflect multiple cultural perspectives. When relevant, includes the ability to explore a topic or issue in depth to yield rich awareness and/or reveal little-known information.
  • Flexibility1 — Willingness to adjust own attitudes and beliefs because of working with and learning from people from diverse communities and cultures.
  • Openness8 — Motivation to initiate and develop interactions with culturally different others. This includes a willingness to suspend judgment when interacting with culturally different others.
  • Responsibility and Initiative5,9 — Motivation to participate in processes of leadership, taking informed and responsible action to address challenges at local, regional and global levels. This includes a willingness to expand knowledge and skills; envision a path forward; convene and organize others; and evaluate the local and broader consequences of individual and collective interventions.

To better illustrate and clarify the nuances of the following nine cultural competencies, several examples of faculty, staff and student learning have been elaborated in five institutional contexts: (1) Instruction; (2) Research; (3) Leadership; (4) Support; and (5) Community. We expect viewers of this guidance to occupy multiple contexts and to find value in each illustration. Delineating each competency in diverse contexts improves clarity and relevance for the reader and also elaborates and advances our shared understanding as we work collectively for institutional change. For the purpose of this guidance, the following contexts were defined by the following roles, environments and responsibilities:


  • Roles: Adjuncts, Instructors, clinical faculty, tenure-track faculty, etc. 
  • Environments: Classrooms, online learning environments, co-curricular learning experiences, etc. 
  • Responsibilities: Curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, etc. 


  • Roles: PIs, faculty researchers, research assistants, graduate student researchers, etc. 
  • Environments: Laboratories, field research, research teams, graduate research committees, etc. 
  • Responsibilities: Research design, collection, analysis, writing and reporting, etc. 


  • Roles: Directors, supervisors, budget authorities, hiring authorities, etc.  
  • Environments: Offices, meetings, marketing and communications, etc. 
  • Responsibilities: Supervision, organizational design, policy design, budget design, communicating vision and mission, etc. 


  • Roles: Program coordinators, administrative support, technical support, student services, etc. 
  • Environments: Facility operations, food services, administrative settings, co-curricular settings, etc. 
  • Responsibilities: Frontline services, student-facing services, faculty- and staff-facing services, etc.  


  • Roles: Friends, neighbors, etc.
  • Environments: Campus community, Corvallis community, Oregon community, social spaces, community events, etc. 


Faculty, staff, and student collaborators have helped the Office of Institutional Diversity elaborate our guidance by co-authoring 90 stories of faculty, staff, and student diversity, equity, and inclusion learning.

Appreciating the Complexity of Identity

A culturally competent community member will recognize and understand that identity is fluid and complex and that interactions between individuals are dynamic. This includes appreciating and respecting that identity development is a long process, full of negotiations and shaped by a multiplicity of social contexts.  

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Recognizing Processes and Outcomes of Socialization

A culturally competent community member will recognize and understand self and others as socialized and cultural beings. This includes the examination of attitudes and beliefs that can influence our perceptions, interactions, and conceptualizations of others and challenging our own categorical assumptions, biases and misinformation about individuals and communities. A foundation and parameter of this domain is a shared belief in the inherent worth, dignity and respect of all human beings. Growth in this domain results in empathy, patience, and respect for self and others..  

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Utilizing Inclusive and Affirming Language

A culturally competent community member will recognize and understand the impact and influence of language in community interactions. This includes engaging others with responsiveness and sensitivity.

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Embracing Collaboration Across Difference

A culturally competent community member will recognize the diversity and dimensions of power and privilege in work styles and communication. This includes seeking to understand the impact and influence of our own norms and values of communication and collaboration on individuals and communities. Growth in this domain results in increased capacity to communicate and collaborate with people whom we disagree with.

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Practicing Cultural Humility

A culturally competent community member will adapt their practices to meet the needs of diverse constituents. This includes ongoing evaluation of one’s practices to attend to the dynamic needs of individuals and communities. Growth in this domain results in increased motivation and capacity to engage with perspectives of those we do not understand or with which we disagree, as well as thoroughly consider opportunities to reevaluate our practices and experiment with new ways of being in the world.

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Attending to Environmental Factors

A culturally competent community member will increase their awareness of the role of the social and physical environment in the lives of other community members. This includes the impact of campus climate and the built environment on others’ access and sense of belonging.

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Engaging the Here and Now

A culturally competent community member will understand and be intrinsically motivated to translate diversity, equity and inclusion concepts into their daily behaviors and decision-making. This includes bridging the theoretical to the practical and interacting with the immediate happening of our community and all its members in a manner that is congruent with our highest ideals. Individuals have responsibility to hold themselves responsible for this congruence and also explore how they can shape organizations to enable the congruence of others with institutional values.

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Redressing past and present inequities

A culturally competent community member will recognize and understand individuals’ and groups’ historical and contemporary experiences with power, privilege and oppression. This includes actively confronting institutional barriers, inequities and disparities in education and other systems in pursuit of justice, and doing so with thoughtfulness, savvy and an intersectional lens.

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Maintaining Global Consciousness

A culturally competent community member will examine one’s work and professional standards, assumptions and practices within an international context. This includes considering how economic, cultural and political globalization has an impact on one’s self-definition, purpose, role, and function.

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