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School of Education

Honor recognizes outstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion

The University of Delaware has been presented the 2017 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The annual HEED Award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“At UD, diversity and inclusive excellence are bedrock institutional values that inform and guide everything we do,” said President Dennis Assanis. “We have made an ongoing commitment to ensure that our campus is diverse and welcoming and that every student has the opportunity and resources necessary to succeed. Everyone at UD understands that diversity strengthens our institution, and this award recognizes their hard work and dedication.”

UD was selected for its efforts toward enhancing diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the campus. Specific strengths and areas of progress include:

  • New staff positions, rich programming, scholarships and community-based partnerships focused on attracting underrepresented and first-generation undergraduate and graduate students and ensuring their success and persistence to graduation;
  • New resources dedicated to the recruitment, retention and advancement of a diverse faculty;
  • Trainings, courses and mentoring programs to bolster hiring and retention of underrepresented employees and encourage respect for and appreciation of individual differences; and
  • Mechanisms for ensuring continued diversity planning and accountability.

A status report posted on the University’s Diversity webpage provides a comprehensive update on these areas and other progress made toward the goals set forth in the Diversity Action Plan established in spring 2016.

Carol Henderson, vice provost for diversity at UD, said, “I am so pleased the University is being honored for the progress we are making toward a more diverse and inclusive campus, and I applaud the many staff, faculty and students who have contributed to these efforts. We have a lot of hard work to do yet, and this award provides encouragement that we are on the right track.”

UD joins 79 other HEED Award recipients to be featured in the November 2017 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”

Other recipients of the 2017 HEED Award include: SUNY System Administration, James Madison University, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, among others.

To learn more about the University’s plans for and progress toward advancing inclusive excellence, visit https://sites.udel.edu/diversity/.

For more information about INSIGHT Into Diversity, visit insightintodiversity.com.

Article by Cindy L. Hall