Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty

The Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty (IPF: Faculty) identifies three core domains - Identity, Intercultural, and Relational - which underlie inclusive practices in higher education. The IPF: Faculty promotes student success by providing a set of skills in the three domains that can be applied to inclusive practices across faculty roles such as teaching, research mentoring, advising, leadership, and colleagueship. These skills also contribute to health and well-being and inclusive climates within the institution.

WHY care about the Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty?

Inclusive environments in faculty careers:

Domain-Based Skill Sets


Developing an awareness of self and student social and cultural identities, the intersectionality of those identities, and examining the role that identity plays in creating effective learning environments.

How might identity impact inclusive faculty practices?


Developing an understanding of cultural differences in ways that enable effective interactions with others from different racial, ethnic, or social identity groups in both domestic and international contexts. 

How might intercultural awareness and humility impact inclusive faculty practices?


Building one-on-one connection, trust and relationship through effective communication and relational skills, which support effective interpersonal interaction.

How might relational and communication skills impact inclusive faculty practices?

Benefits of Applying the IPF to Faculty Roles


Develop your skills to advising students, formally or informally -- a key role that many faculty play in addition to engaging students in classroom or research settings.


Build your confidence using strategies to make your content, activities, language, and classroom logistics inclusive for all students.

Research Mentoring

Deepen your understanding of how to communicate effectively across difference to set you and your mentee(s) up for a mutually beneficial and productive mentoring relationship.

Collegiality & Leadership

Learn how to derail systems of privilege and interrupt bias, act as an ally, and advocate for excellence and diversity in professional settings as both colleague and leader.

IPF: Faculty Publications

Faculty are key to promoting academic success for undergraduate students from groups traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This article presents Aspire's Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty (IPF: Faculty), a research-grounded framework that identifies three conceptual domains that are foundational to faculty being equitable and inclusive.  The framework’s three domains of identity, intercultural awareness, and relational each provides its own set of awareness, knowledge, and skills, and is transferable across multiple faculty roles.  In the article, an example narrative of a day in the life of "Dr. Smith" is used to illustrate what the IPF: Faculty can look like in practice. The IPF: Faculty can provide campuses an opportunity to integrate existing diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development programming into a framework that can be iteratively explored and practiced and in turn build local institutional capacity to promote change.

Academic chairs play a critical role in establishing and promoting a positive department culture (character and personality) and climate (perceived atmosphere and ambiance). This article briefly explores Aspire's Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty (IPF: Faculty) through two lenses. First, an inward-focused lens examines how the framework can help academic chairs to navigate effectively and equitably the responsibilities of their own role. Second, the outward-focused lens supports academic chairs to leverage the IPF: Faculty to foster a more equitable department culture and climate by promoting professional development for their faculty, staff, and students.

It is critical to provide STEM faculty with the professional development to support their complex roles and to base this development on evidence derived from research. This edited handbook provides STEM stakeholders with an opportunity to share studies and/or experiences that explore STEM faculty development (FD) in higher education settings. The Aspire National Change team and collaborators authored the chapter "The Aspire Alliance inclusive professional framework for faculty—Implementing inclusive and holistic professional development that transcends multiple faculty roles." This chapter describes the Aspire Alliance’s inclusive professional framework for faculty (IPF:Faculty), a tool for focusing on transferable, inclusive skills and practices when creating new and modifying existing professional development programming for faculty, future faculty, and staff. The IPF:Faculty provides a holistic approach to professional development that prioritizes a cultural shift in the creation and sustainability of institution-wide equitable environments for all participants in higher education.

This edited book provides international insights and recommendations around topics of gender and diversity in higher education linking to larger societal goals of improving equality. The Aspire National Change team and collaborators authored the chapter "Improving gender diversity in STEM through an inclusive professional framework." This chapter explores the Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty, (IPF: Faculty)--a research-grounded, holistic professional development framework, and how it can inform the approach higher education leaders take to advance the work of equity and inclusion on their campuses, particularly their work to address gender disparities. The chapter explores a graduate-level course as a case study for the application of IPF principles in a student-focused context, and considers how these principles can impact STEM trainees, with a particular focus on graduate students and postdoctoral researchers (postdocs). Then it takes a look at how the IPF: Faculty can be applied at a broader, systems level to influence institutional policies, and the overall training structure of STEM higher education. The chapter concludes with recommendations for all institutional leaders for creating structures and systems within their units that empower individuals at all levels to advocate for their own progress and career success.