The awards are given annually by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine and recognize U.S. colleges and universities demonstrating an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
For the eighth year in a row, Texas Tech University has earned the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This year also marks the fourth consecutive year the university has been recognized as a Diversity Champion by the magazine.
The university is one of just eight institutions recognized from Texas and will be featured with 92 other HEED Award recipients from across the U.S. in the November 2019 print issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity.
"Providing and fostering an inclusive and equitable environment for all students is a priority for the university," said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. "As we continue to recruit a student body that reflects the demographics of our state, it is gratifying that Texas Tech is a leader and role model in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in higher education."
Since 2012, the HEED Award has recognized colleges and universities demonstrating an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion 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.
Beginning in 2016, top-tier HEED Award recipients also receive recognition as Diversity Champions. These recipients serve as role models of excellence for other institutions by setting the standard for thousands of other campus communities striving for diversity and inclusion. Diversity Champion schools exceed everyday expectations, often eclipsing their own goals.
Texas Tech has been named HEED Award and Diversity Champion recipient every year the recognitions have been awarded. The university's efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive community are championed by the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI). The division, led by vice president and chief diversity officer Carol A. Sumner, works collaboratively with other campus and community groups to provide services and resources for an increasingly diverse community of faculty, staff and students.
"We are honored to once again be selected as a HEED Award recipient and Diversity Champion university," Sumner said. "We do not take these designations lightly, as they are truly reflective of our university-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Our faculty, staff and students work with great intention and purpose to realize the pillars of our excellence are built on everyday efforts as well as numerous signature programs and events. This process is one that provides us an opportunity to share all that is being done to honor our diversity and practice inclusivity and equity while striving to continually raise the bar."
DDEI includes 15 divisional units that offer – and continue to search for opportunities to expand – programming and services among areas of diversity including race and ethnicity, gender, age, veteran status, the LGBTQIA community and people with disabilities. The result is an environment conducive to the of development professional skills, individual creativity, personal excellence and social awareness for all students, faculty and staff.
In addition to earning the HEED Award and being named a Diversity Champion each year, Texas Tech has earned a 4.5-star overall ranking and was named a Premier Campus on the 2019 Campus Pride Index for progress in regard to LGBTQIA inclusivity. The university also has been named a best online college for students with disabilities and a top university for international students.
In 2019, the university achieved official designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) from the U.S. Department of Education, making the university eligible for up to $10 million in additional funding to support the enhancement of educational opportunities for all students. The university also was listed by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine as a top institution in several categories for educating and graduating Hispanic students.
About INSIGHT Into Diversity
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is well known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses.
In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers also will discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at insightintodiversity.com.