NORMAN – For the second year in a row, the University of Oklahoma is a recipient of the 2017 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, the only national award honoring individual colleges or universities for their outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses.
The HEED Award is given by INSIGHT Into Diversity, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. OU also has been recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity as a “Diversity Champion” and one of only 15 institutions in the nation, public or private, to receive the award.
“The university is especially pleased to receive this award for the second year in a row. This recognition further exemplifies OU as a national role model for creating a welcoming environment for all members of the university family,” said OU President David L. Boren. “The entire university community, students, faculty, staff and alumni have worked hard together to make this recognition possible.”
The Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff. Applications are comprehensive, covering all aspects of campus diversity and inclusion.
To centralize oversight for all diversity programs within the university, including Admissions, OU has established the position of Vice President for the University Community which reports directly to the President. The Office of the University Community is committed to providing an inclusive environment in which diversity is the cornerstone of fostering a climate that is open and welcoming to diverse people, ideas and perspectives; promoting a positive dialogue on the nature of diversity and inclusion; and engaging faculty, staff and students in activities that highlight core values of community outreach, collaboration, integrity, cultural awareness and understanding.
OU requires all incoming students to participate in the Diversity and Inclusivity Experience, a five-hour curriculum-based training. OU Norman campus minority enrollment once again rose in fall 2017, making this year’s freshman class the most diverse in university history. Each OU college has designated faculty or staff who address diversity, community and inclusion initiatives.