Principles of Community for Inclusive Excellence

Principles of Community for Inclusive Excellence

Cal Poly Humboldt (HSU) is a diverse Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and a Minority-Serving Institution (MSI). Humboldt is a multicultural community that is committed to improving the human condition and the environment by dismantling systems of oppression so that we all have what we need to thrive. We come from a multitude of backgrounds and experiences which shape our identities, perspectives, and life journeys. Individually and collectively, we recognize that to create an affirming and intellectually vibrant community that supports everyone’s safety, success and well-being, we must understand and value our individual differences, common ground, and positionality in, and history of the systems in which we navigate. Accountability for results, belonging, compassionate collaboration, confidentiality, cultural humility, integrity, ongoing learning, respect, service, and social justice are the Principles of Community that animate this commitment. These principles of community anchor our unifying institutional vision of inclusive excellence.

We recognize that each of us has an obligation to the Humboldt community which is now ours to call home, and to contribute to its sustainability. We strive to build and maintain a culture and climate based on these principles of community when engaging with one another, working together to foster healing whenever necessary, and acting on behalf of Humboldt.

Accountability for Results

We are accountable for our own engagement and results. Accountability means more than just doing our job. It includes an obligation to make ourselves and our policies and practices better, to pursue inclusive excellence, and to engage in ways that further Humboldt's purpose and vision. Being accountable means that we are self-reflective and answerable for our actions and the actions of our teams.


We welcome, value, and affirm all members of our community, including their various abilities, contributions, ideas, intersectional identities, skills, and talents. We create and nurture environments that support the safety, well-being, and belonging of all community members, with particular focus on minoritized groups.

Compassionate Collaboration

We genuinely broaden our understanding of others’ experiences and life journeys, and build rapport grounded in mutual trust and respect. We co-create positive environments necessary for our integrated work to flourish and support the purpose and vision of Humboldt. We listen and prioritize the voices of minoritized community members to drive the change for how to best meet the identified historical and contemporary needs of these groups and build resilient communities.

Care and Confidentiality

We believe that care of the individual and the community is everyone’s responsibility. We strive to earn and maintain each other’s trust in our personal and professional lives. We listen with compassion, support individual and collective growth, see all of us as a work in progress, and keep confidential information entrusted with us whenever necessary.

Cultural Humility

We strive to grow in our cultural humility and adopt the four principles first brought forth by Drs. Melanie Tervalon and Jann Murray Garcia. First, to critically self-reflect and be lifelong learners; second, to recognize and mitigate inherent power imbalances; third, to create mutually beneficial non-paternalistic relationships with community members, highlighting the expertise that resides in the community, outside the university; and fourth, to have institutional accountability and alignment.


We act ethically, honestly, and with trust in all our interactions. We believe that conflict is an opportunity for growth and aim to fulfill Humboldt's purpose without causing harm. When harm is caused, we see repair work as an occasion to deepen our understanding of each other and grow stronger individually, as an institution and as a community. We are accountable for our inactions and actions.

Ongoing Learning

We engage in the continuous improvement of personal and professional skills which support the development of our full potential as individuals, teams, and as a University community. We are eager to learn – and to share our knowledge and experience with one another. We foster a culture of continuous learning and quality improvement which will have a direct and positive impact on our ultimate success.


We honor and affirm the dignity inherent in all of us and in all beings and we strive to maintain a climate of equity and justice demonstrated by respect for one another. We are committed to freedom of expression, critical discourse, and the advancement of knowledge. We strive to overcome historical and divisive biases in our community and society.


We are responsible, individually and collectively, to give of our time, talents, and resources to promote the well-being of each other and the development of our local, regional, and global communities and broader society. Support the understanding of our positionalities to increase our agency to transform systems for social justice.

Social Justice

We have the right to be treated and the responsibility to treat others with fairness, equity and respect, the duty to challenge prejudice and discrimination, and to uphold the laws, policies and procedures that promote healing and justice in all respects.


Listen   ·   Collaborate   ·    Transform
Developed by Humboldt ODEI Team, 15 February 2021