The University of Texas at Austin received the first annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine on Nov. 16. The university will be featured along with 47 other recipients in the December 2012 issue of the magazine. Schools were selected based on their initiatives to promote diversity, including those focused on race, ethnicity, gender, disabilities, veteran status and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, said, “Given our global society, it is imperative the education of our future leaders includes the benefits of a culturally and intellectually diverse campus environment. The University of Texas at Austin is strongly committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus that promotes a robust exchange of ideas, cross-racial and cross-cultural understanding, and the opportunity for all to participate. The HEED award reflects the strength of our commitment and success in enriching the campus culture.”
Upon taking office in 2006, President Bill Powers made diversity one of his four strategic priorities. Since that time, he created the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, which hosts a number of broad initiatives that support the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty, staff and student body as well as increasing the academic success of diverse student populations, including first-generation college students, students of color, students with disabilities and students in the LGBT community. Every college and school at The University of Texas at Austin has undertaken diversity initiatives that have created numerous pathways for diverse student populations to participate in a rich academic and social life at the university. As a result, the university is one of the most diverse public research universities in the nation.
The HEED award was established to serve as a reminder that diversity and inclusion must remain priorities in higher education. For more information about the award, visit the INSIGHT into Diversity website.