California State University, Sacramento

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Equity in Decision Making

Sac State is committed to Inclusive Excellence as a fundamental part of its educational mission to achieve academic excellence and student success. This handout serves as a quick resource in assisting members of our campus community and leadership in making and implementing more equitable and inclusive decisions in their daily work and activities.

Inclusive Excellence

Sacramento State defines Inclusive Excellence as the ongoing and active process of ensuring our values of equity, diversity, and inclusion are embedded into the core functions and operations of our university in order to realize educational equity and the full benefits of having a diverse and inclusive campus.


  • Every decision point serves as an opportunity to examine and act in an equitable and inclusive manner.
  • Our focus should be on:
    • Systems, not symptoms
    • Outcomes, not intentions
    • Continual learning, not what we already know
  • It is important to always critically examine our sense of what is “objective.”
  • It is important to consistently apply our values and personal commitment to taking action that produces outcomes consistent with those values

Equity Minded Decision Making

A series of questions to consider as decisions are made:

  • Systems.
    • Who are the decision makers at the table? Who else should be engaged?
    • Does our system work paternalistically? Or does it empower and engage? Have we asked the most impacted what it is they need or want?
    • Are the systems at play accessible and/or user-friendly?
  • Outcomes.
    • Who benefits or is advantaged? Who is most burdened or disadvantaged?
    • What are the unintended consequences?
    • What alternative action or options could produce different, more equitable outcomes?
    • What action(s) will best advance equity and inclusion?
  • Continual learning.
    • What data do we collect? How do we disaggregate the data?
    • What alternative actions could produce different outcomes?
    • What reminders, supports, and accountability systems can be structured into routine practices to keep equity as a high priority?

Inclusive Implementation

A series of questions to consider as implementation occurs:

  • Communication.
    • Is communication or message itself clear and effective?
    • Is the method of communication accessible across communities, including marginalized communities?
    • Does it need to be translated in multiple languages?
    • Does the communication need to be provided in different forms (i.e., written, audio, video, closed-captioned, etc.)?
    • Does the communication provide transparency on the relevant issues and the processes used? Does the communication set expectations and provide a sense of timing?
    • Does the communication respond to the issues and concerns being raised by the broader community as well as those most directly impacted?
  • Outreach.
    • Are there multiple forms or modalities of communication?
    • Is the outreach robust and inclusive?
    • Have we activated the right communications networks? Are we targeting the communications to those most in need of receiving it?
  • Training.
    • Are the individuals responsible for implementation properly prepared and supported in doing so?
    • Have expectations and standards been set to ensure consistency and equity?
  • Evaluation.
    • Feedback. Where are we inviting and looking for feedback?
    • Data. What data are we collecting and disaggregating? How are we accessing and using both quantitative and qualitative data?
    • Use. How are we using it to alter ongoing or future action?