Leaders at HEED Award Institutions Are Speaking Out

Presidents and chancellors from various HEED Award institutions shared their perspectives with INSIGHT Into Diversity on how receiving this prestigious national honor has positively influenced their campuses.

Adelphi University
“Adelphi University is honored by our prestigious HEED Awards — a recognition that enables us to continue fulfilling our mission to create a world-class academic experience. It helps us attract diverse faculty members, students, and staff and is compelling evidence for our like-minded partners, friends, and donors to support our mission. Most especially, the HEED Awards reaffirm that Adelphi welcomes and embraces all students with open arms.”
— President Christine M. Riordan, PhD

California State University Los Angeles
“Cal State LA is proud to have been a HEED Award recipient for the past two years. This recognition underscores our commitment to diversity and inclusion as the premier public university in the heart of Los Angeles.”
President William A. Covino, PhD

California State University San Marcos
“Winning the HEED Award for the sixth year in a row validates the vital work we’re doing at Cal State San Marcos. Diversity is built into our DNA, and we celebrate our differences as much as our similarities. Though we will always have more to do, we continue to strive every day toward inclusive excellence.”
President Ellen J. Neufeldt, EdD

Clemson University
“Receiving the HEED Award has helped to bring national attention to Clemson for our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We still have work to do in this area, but this recognition is a sign that we are making progress, and that helps us remain motivated as we push to do more.”
— President James P. Clements, PhD

Cuyahoga Community College
“Diversity and inclusion serve as pillars of the foundation at Cuyahoga Community College. We work daily to shape an environment where all people — regardless of background or life circumstances — come together in a shared mission to build more meaningful lives through education. The future of our communities depends upon our success in this endeavor.”
— President Alex Johnson, PhD

Davenport University
“Receiving the HEED award for the seventh year verifies that diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives remain a top priority at Davenport. As we continue working toward these initiatives at our campuses across Michigan, we embrace a broad definition of diversity that celebrates all members of our community regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, military service, disability, or sexual orientation.”
— President Richard Pappas, PhD

DePaul University
“It is an honor to again receive the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Diversity and Inclusion is a strategic priority for the university and is an important goal in Grounded in Mission: The Plan for DePaul 2024. Diversity and inclusion is a core value of our university. As a Catholic, Vincentian, and urban university we know that DePaul’s strength and future lies in our ability to prepare our students to live in a diverse society and to recruit and retain a diverse faculty and staff that represents our students and community.”
— President A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD

Eastern Washington University
“We at Eastern Washington University are delighted to have been named a HEED Award recipient two years in a row. We lined the main walkways with banners highlighting the award, and we have included the recognition in our marketing and recruitment materials.”
— President Mary Cullinan, PhD

El Paso Community College
“El Paso Community College is proud of our efforts to always be at the forefront of diversity and inclusion. The HEED Award validates the college’s hard work to champion diversity and equity.”
— President William Serrata, PhD

Florida State University (FSU)
“The HEED Award has strengthened our recruitment of faculty, staff, and students, signaling that FSU is a place where you will be challenged, engaged, and supported by a diverse community of learners — and that everyone is enriched from being in such a diverse and inclusive community.”
— President John Thrasher, JD

Framingham State University
“Being a five-time recipient of the HEED award has helped Framingham State University demonstrate to the community that diversity, equity, and inclusion aren’t just issues we pay lip service to, but core values that are at the very heart of who we are as an institution.”
— President F. Javier Cevallos, PhD

Greenville Technical College
“The HEED award lets potential students, employees, donors, and business partners know that diversity and inclusion are more than just words on a webpage at Greenville Technical College. Because the application is thoughtful and thorough, members of our community know that we have a demonstrated and measurable commitment to making everyone feel welcomed and valued here.”
— President Keith Miller, PhD

Hillsborough Community College
“Hillsborough Community College is honored to be a HEED Award recipient. It is a testament to the value we place on cultivating a respectful and supportive learning environment that is inclusive of all experiences and backgrounds.”
— President Ken Atwater, PhD

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
“Having received the HEED Award for eight consecutive years, IUPUI understands the vital importance of pairing recruitment efforts with wrap-around retention programs designed to ensure faculty, staff, and student success.”
— Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar, PhD

Kansas State University (K-State)
“K-State’s mission as a land-grant university encourages diversity and learning opportunities created through societal differences. As we embrace our differences, we create a harmonious workplace and educational institution of choice. Being a 2019 HEED Award recipient symbolizes that we remain true to our mission.”
— President Gen. Richard Myers

Louisiana State University (LSU)
“We are very pleased to be recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine with their Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. It’s an honor to be recognized nationally for our continued efforts to build an institution that is more reflective of our state, nation, and world. We are proud of the record-breaking classes that we are both enrolling and graduating here at LSU. We want our campus to mirror the world, with students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds, races, and nationalities.”
— President F. King Alexander, PhD

Minnesota State
“We are very pleased that the hard work of our faculty and staff has earned a place among the colleges and universities who are advancing the critical work to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. As we move forward with our goal of eliminating equity gaps by the year 2030, we are pleased to pause to share what we have learned, and we are grateful for the opportunity to learn from all of the organizations being recognized with a HEED Award for their outstanding work.”
— Chancellor Devinder Malhotra, PhD

Oregon State University
“We believe that excellence is achieved through diversity. This award recognizes our efforts to foster a more inclusive community, including in our recruitment efforts where the number of African American students applying to Oregon State has increased by 33 percent in three years. Yet, we know we have more work to do.”
— President Edward J. Ray, PhD

Pikes Peak Community College
“Pikes Peak Community College uses the process to apply for the HEED Award as a guide to assess our campus diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts over the past academic year. In the past two years, our DEI staff has blossomed. … But our greatest strides have been made not in the increased staff, but in the wider buy-in throughout our college. The practices of disaggregating data and our commitment to not just equal opportunity but equal outcomes are becoming infused into our institutional culture.”
— President Lance Bolton, PhD

Rochester Institute of Technology
“We are honored to earn the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for the sixth consecutive year, an accomplishment that truly is meaningful. This award inspires us and is motivating our continued success in attracting a higher percentage of students of color.”
— President David C. Munson Jr., PhD

Seminole State College of Florida
Earning national recognition for the HEED award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is a true honor and serves as validation for the deep commitment that drives our faculty and staff to do great work every day. Such an award motivates us all to work harder to achieve equity in educational outcomes for all students.
— President Georgia L. Lorenz, PhD

Texas Christian University
“We are very grateful for this recognition by INSIGHT Into Diversity. It means the world to us because it says, among other things, that many people on our campus are striving to make our campus a true home for all.”
— Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr., PhD

The University of Alabama at Birmingham
“We are proud to be recognized again by INSIGHT Into Diversity. Our institution cherishes our shared values that include integrity, respect, diversity, and inclusiveness. Our Student Affairs Multicultural and Diversity Programs and Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, among many other student, faculty, and staff groups and initiatives, do a tremendous job in bringing these values to life.”
— President Ray L. Watts, MD

Union College, NY
“Embracing diversity and inclusion on a college campus requires commitment from all — students, faculty, and staff — to create a vibrant community filled with academic opportunities, experiences, and support. The HEED Award recognizes our community’s commitment. This year, Union College is pleased to welcome the most diverse group of new faculty and the most diverse group of students in the institution’s history.”
— President David Harris, PhD

University of Cincinnati
“Being a HEED Award recipient sparks our desire to be even more innovative and more impactful in our efforts. A great example is our ‘Don’t Cancel Class!’ program that provides discipline-specific D and I educational sessions for students when faculty members need to be away from class. Through this effort, we are preparing our students to be successful in a global workforce.”
— President Neville G. Pinto, PhD

University of Georgia
“The University of Georgia is proud to be a national leader in promoting diversity and inclusion throughout our institution. I appreciate this recognition from INSIGHT Into Diversity once again for our successes in this important area and our efforts to go even further.”
— President Jere W. Morehead, JD

University of Kentucky
“We know our campus thrives when we cultivate an inclusive community of belonging that celebrates the distinctiveness of our people. This award recognizes the rich tapestry of culture, race, background, ethnicity, and lived experiences that fuel our efforts to do more — and be more — for our community, as the University for Kentucky.”
— President Eli Capilouto, PhD

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“The University of Louisiana at Lafayette used data collected as part of the 2018 HEED Award application process to craft the institution’s new Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence, an ambitious three-year roadmap for building on our diversity and inclusion successes.”
— President E. Joseph Savoie, EdD

University of Michigan (U-M)
“On behalf of the University of Michigan, I thank INSIGHT Into Diversity for bringing attention to the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and for honoring the tireless commitment of U-M faculty, staff, and students as they work to make a positive difference in our society.”
— President Mark Schlissel, PhD

University of North Carolina at Greensboro
“We are proud that for the second straight year, UNCG has been recognized for our tenacious focus on student success. As one of the most diverse universities in North Carolina, we are leaders in creating opportunity and access for all our students. The HEED Award reflects our dedication to providing an inclusive and vibrant campus learning environment for the vast array of students we serve.”
— Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam Jr., PhD

University of North Florida (UNF)
“The HEED Award has impacted the University of North Florida by helping us attract underrepresented students and employees. Job candidates have shared that the award influenced their decision to apply to UNF because it shows that we value and embrace diversity. Students have also communicated the same message.”
— President David Szymanski, PhD

University of West Florida
“Every day at UWF, we focus on creating an inclusive culture. We pride ourselves on how our students, faculty and staff feel they belong on our campus. The HEED Award is a great honor for our university and symbolizes that we are making significant progress.”
— President Martha D. Saunders, PhD

University of West Georgia
“Since receiving this award last year, we have cited it on several grant awards as evidence of our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We continue to use the criteria for the HEED Award to gauge our progress toward an increasingly more diverse and inclusive community.”
— President Micheal Crafton, PhD

Washington State University Vancouver
“I am very proud of the work faculty, staff, and students have done to make WSU Vancouver a welcoming community that is committed to equity and inclusion. We have more work to do, but the HEED Award is evidence that we are moving in the right direction.”
— Chancellor Mel Netzhammer, PhD

Western Michigan University
“We are honored that Western Michigan University has been named a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award winner for the seventh year in a row. We recognize that diversity is our strength, and this distinction is a testament to our commitment to building broader diversity within our student body and across our faculty ranks. While we graciously accept this accolade from INSIGHT into Diversity, we know that we have more work to do, and we will continue to make strides in enhancing inclusivity and engagement across our campus.”
— President Edward Montgomery, PhD

William & Mary
“As the award recognizes, the William & Mary community continues to enthusiastically seek ways to make higher education more diverse and inclusive. The positive momentum across all levels of faculty and staff inspires us to ever expand our efforts to become more welcoming and equitable. This work is especially important during this year of planning for the future at William & Mary; we celebrate the groundwork we’ve already accomplished and reaffirm our commitment to accomplish more.”
— President Katherine A. Rowe, PhD