Given annually by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the national honors recognize U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Texas Tech University has once again received recognition for being a leader in higher education when it comes to diversity and inclusion efforts. INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has named Texas Tech a 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) winner for the ninth year in a row and a Diversity Champion for the fifth time.
Awarded by the magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, each of the national honors recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Texas Tech is featured, along with 89 other recipients, in the November 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
"This award reflects our ongoing efforts to be supportive and inclusive of all students, faculty and staff," said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. "I appreciate the work of Carol Sumner, her staff in the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) and campus partners, whose efforts contributed to this recognition."
Since 2012, the HEED Award has recognized colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff. The award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees – and best practices for both – as well as continued leadership support for diversity and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion.
Since 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 received both honors every year they have been awarded by the magazine.
"Texas Tech is very honored to receive, for the ninth consecutive year, the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, and to be named a Diversity Champion for the fifth consecutive year," said Sumner, chief diversity officer and vice president of the DDEI. "Although it has been a demonstrated priority for Texas Tech University, it is now even more critical that we remain vigilant in our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as core to our university culture and practices."
DDEI includes 12 divisional units that offer – and continue to search for opportunities to expand – programming and services among areas of diversity, including race and ethnicity, gender, first-generation status, veteran status, the LGBTQIA community and people with disabilities. The result is an environment conducive to the development of professional skills, individual creativity, personal excellence and social awareness for all students, faculty and staff.
Recent diversity, equity and inclusion milestones achieved by the university include:
- An increase in the number of minority employees in faculty tenure and non-tenure positions and in executive leadership positions.
- The creation of the Leaders Engaged in Advancing Diversity (LEAD) Fellows Program. Led by the Office of Institutional Diversity, the program was developed with direct appointments of selected staff by each college dean. LEAD Fellows are instrumental in providing strategies and resources to fellow staff members in each college so they can create diversity-related initiatives, training and programming that best fit their college's needs.
- Texas Tech's College of Architecture at El Paso was named a recipient of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine's 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award. The award is presented to people and programs that encourage and inspire a new generation of young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Two other university initiatives also received the award: the Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program and the STEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education (STEM CORE).
"The work, as I repeatedly share, and recognition given by INSIGHT Into Diversity is the direct result of the efforts of thousands of Red Raiders and others who host programs and commit resources to this effort across our Lubbock campus, our other sites across Texas and our international locations, including our newest campus in Costa Rica," Sumner said. "As a relatively new Hispanic-Serving Institution, we recognize that our programs help us better serve our underrepresented students so they are able to earn their degrees and continue as global citizens in Texas and around the world. While we are certainly proud, we remain humbled by the recognition of our achievement as a leader in diversity in higher education."
About INSIGHT Into Diversity
In addition to an 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.