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Key Executive Leadership Program

Key Diversity Advisory Council Statement

The Key Executive Leadership Programs (KEY) embraces the American University vision for diversity and inclusion where people of all identities & experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included in the community and where equitable treatment and outcomes prevail. As set forth by the AU Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI), KEY supports the advancement of American University’s commitment to respecting & valuing diversity. This includes:

  • Enhancing LGBTQ, multicultural, first generation, and women’s experiences on campus;

  • Promoting student retention, graduation, and academic achievement;

  • Collaborating with campus partners, in particular those that work with international students, students with disabilities and students with active religious affiliations to create a safe, supportive & empowering community for all, regardless of identity.

In alignment with CDI, Key subscribes to the definition used by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) created to describe both diversity and inclusion:

  • According to the AAC&U, diversity is defined as "individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations)."

  • The AAC&U defines inclusion as "the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions."

The mission of the Key Executive Leadership Master of Public Administration is to foster a collaborative and rigorous learning environment to initiate the purposeful transformation of good managers into extraordinary leaders who possess the capacity to build learning environments for the purpose of creating and sustaining vital public service organizations. This applies not only to our graduate degree, but to all of our program offerings.

Leaders in the public sector are on the front lines of implementation of public policies and programs to a diverse citizenry, and the impact of these programs and policies be considered for all of our citizens including traditionally underrepresented groups. We believe that in order to accomplish our mission, our interactions with staff, faculty, coaches, students, colleagues, and all with who we come in contact, must reflect a vision and practice whereby diversity and inclusion are aggressively sought and where people of all identities & experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included in the Key community.

In order to accomplish these goals, we will focus on the following areas: 

  • Utilize recruitment efforts that draw from a diverse array of students, faculty, and staff.

  • Offer opportunities for additional training to faculty and staff on topics related to diversity and inclusion to increase their level of cultural competency.

  • Encourage faculty to include diverse perspectives on material taught / discussed in the classroom.

  • Review curriculum each year for opportunities to integrate topics on diversity and inclusion.

  • Include topics related to diversity and inclusion in program offerings outside of the MPA (i.e., Speaker’s Series, Key Leadership Conference, Leadership Forums, Guest Speakers).

  • Build a Key culture that does not tolerate cultural, gender, racial and ethnic stereotypes and strives to promote cross-cultural understanding among staff, faculty, coaches, and students.

Our position on diversity and inclusion is consistent with the following NASPAA diversity standards:

  • Standard 3.2 Faculty Diversity: The program will promote diversity and a climate of inclusiveness through its recruitment and retention of faculty members;

  • Standard 4.4 Student Diversity: The program will promote diversity and a climate of inclusiveness through its recruitment, admissions practices, and student support services; and

  •  Standard 5.1 Universal Required Competencies: To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.