Some of our 2022 winners share their thoughts about the HEED Award.
Florida State University
Every year, the INSIGHT Into Diversity HEED Award application provides an opportunity for our university to reflect on the progress of our campus community in our efforts to create a more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming learning environment. As well, each iteration of the application challenges us in new ways and provokes us to think through how we can continually push toward even bolder action to achieve equity, diversity, and inclusion among our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the greater areas surrounding our university.
“INSIGHT Into Diversity has set a standard for diversity and inclusion in higher education.”
President Richard McCullough, Florida State University
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
We have used the application as a guide in how we improve and strengthen our DEI initiatives. The HEED Award application challenges you to look at your programming, policies, and systemic issues from an institutional lens, and then the data reports allow you to look at peer institutions. Probably one of the best parts is you have an opportunity to learn from other institutions without having to reinvent the wheel.
A diverse and inclusive campus enhances the living, learning, and working environment for every student, staff, and faculty member. With this guiding framework for Miami University, the HEED Award is in direct alignment with who we are and what we do.
Swarthmore College is applying for the HEED Award because this is one of the best ways to measure progress on our campus and not get too comfortable. Applying for the HEED Award is an excellent way to end the academic year because it provides you with the opportunity to see if you did what you said you were going to do in regard to DEI on your campus. This award helps us to see if we are moving the needle and helps us to be reflective and determine what we need to be thinking about for next year.
Texas A&M University-San Antonio
The INSIGHT Into Diversity HEED Award is used at Texas A&M-San Antonio (A&M-SA) as a guide to examine the campus-wide intent to integrate DEI in its operations, academic focus, and student needs. Thanks to INSIGHT magazine and the award application, the Office of Equity and Inclusive Excellence now recognizes that A&M-SA has implemented a number of initiatives important to continuously improving equity and inclusive excellence within its campus community.
Texas Christian University
Each year, our Texas Christian University horned frog family strives to make our campus community better than the prior year regarding our DEI initiatives. We take great pride in preparing and submitting for the HEED Award each year, as it allows all of us (faculty, staff, university administrators) to review our DEI progress across the year. The HEED Award continually and consistently allows us to reflect on not only our achievements but, even more importantly, the challenges we have before us.
University of Cincinnati
Members across our university are working so hard to move the dial and make a difference not only for our students but for each other. There has been an outpouring of support and engagement in learning more about DEI and committing to doing the work, especially the “hard” work of holding each other to account so that our values of DEI are not mere words on a page but lived values by all. As always, this application provides a self-study on best practices and serves as a benchmark to improve our efforts and effectiveness.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Receiving the HEED Award for the first time in 2018 was a catalyst for university-wide strategic planning to develop the institution’s first Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence. Based largely on assessment-driven data collected for the 2018 HEED Award application, the new strategic plan is a bold and visionary step forward. We view the HEED Award as a motivational tool for continued improvement and sustained efforts toward increased inclusion on campus, and that is particularly evident in our spring planning sessions for the university’s strategic plan.
We believe the HEED Award is the best regarded, most trusted stamp of approval in higher education as it relates to DEI best practices in our industry. To earn it is to have proved that we are walking the walk on our campus. Further, the exercise of completing the application requires significant interdepartmental collaboration, leading to the compilation of information that might otherwise only exist separately. It presents us with an opportunity to create a comprehensive picture and narrative around our DEI culture and to regard ourselves critically. This shows us new possibilities for improving in the future.
The University of Texas at Arlington
The HEED Award is the foremost validation of an institution’s efforts and commitments to inclusive excellence. To be regarded among the nation’s best universities for DEI is indeed an honor.
The University of Texas at Austin
The one year we did not apply for the HEED Award, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement received calls asking why we did not receive it. We view the HEED Award as a valuable way to assess our diversity efforts and see what others have been doing.
William & Mary
We apply each year for the HEED Award as a way to celebrate what has been accomplished across the university in the last year, but we also use it as a momentum builder for all we can learn from other institutions that are doing this work in innovative and successful ways. It has also served as an accountability metric for our university’s leadership in setting goals
for the next year.●
This article was published in our November 2022 issue.