Texas Tech University recently was named a Diversity Champion by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education today, and is the only institution in Texas awarded the prestigious title.
"A diverse and inclusive learning environment is an essential aspect in providing a well-rounded, complete education to our students," said Texas Tech Interim President John Opperman. "Our students are graduating into culturally-rich workplaces and working side-by-side with people of different backgrounds and nationalities. It is important we continue to emphasize this part of our mission."
Only 10 colleges and universities were selected as a Diversity Champion. According to INSIGHT Into Diversity, the institutions selected exemplify an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities, across academic programs and at the highest administrative levels.
Those selected also were ranked in 2015 in the top tier of the 92 recipients of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award presented by INSIGHT Into Diversity. The HEED award is presented annually by the diversity publication to recognize colleges and universities dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive campus environment.
Texas Tech has received the highly esteemed HEED award four consecutive years.
"This recognition reflects the commitment we place on diversity at Texas Tech, and the efforts of many staff and faculty who help provide an inclusive environment where students succeed," said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech provost and senior vice president. "I especially appreciate the leadership of Dr. Juan Muñoz, Dr. Paul Frazier and their colleagues in the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement."
The university continually works to create an inclusive environment on campus and has seen a rapid growth in the diverse population over the past two years. Texas Tech reached a new high in October when the Hispanic student enrollment reached 23 percent, the largest the university has seen.
The Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement has 11 departments dedicated to various areas of diversity to develop students' professional skills, individual creativity, personal excellence and social awareness. The departments are:
- Cross-Cultural Academic Advancement Center
- Institute for the Development and Enrichment of Advanced Learners (IDEAL)
- Mentor Tech
- Military and Veterans Programs
- Office of Academic Enrichment
- Office Community Engagement
- Pioneers in Education: Generations Achieving Scholarship and Unprecedented Success (PEGASUS)
- Texas Tech Chess Program
- University Interscholastic League
- Upward Bound
- Women's Studies Program
Ethan Logan, executive director for Undergraduate Admissions, said the university has worked to create programs for students dedicated to diversity and inclusion. He said having these programs helps the university reach out to more students and help them attain academic success at Texas Tech.
"Broadening the appeal of Texas Tech as a higher education institution of choice involves the marketing of the institution with the promise of the commitment of diverse programs, faculty and staff," he said. "Exceptional programs for student support compliment the recruitment of new students to the institution; our strategy of inclusive outreach and the promotion of accessibility into underserved student markets introduce the possibilities of academic careers at Texas Tech."
For more information about Texas Tech's diversity programs, visit its website.