Penn State recognized for commitment to diversity

September 06, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For the fourth year in a row, Penn State has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, making it one of only 83 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the prestigious recognition. The award, which recognizes institutions for their commitment to diversity and inclusion, will be featured in the November 2016 issue of the magazine.

“We are extremely honored to receive the 2016 INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for the fourth consecutive year at Penn State. This is truly a testament and recognition of the hard work and commitment toward the goals of diversity and inclusion efforts by everyone across the University,” said Marcus Whitehurst, vice provost for Educational Equity. “Although there is still much work to be done, this award signifies that Penn State is headed in the right direction around these important initiatives.”

The award recognizes Penn State’s ongoing initiatives and recent efforts, including its Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence. The statement, which speaks to the University’s focus on fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion, follows the 2010-15 “A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State.”

Penn State has a Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Equity; the Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity; and the Commission for Women.

In August 2015, President Eric Barron signed a “Pennsylvania Competes” pledge to demonstrate the University’s commitment to nondiscrimation based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. In his tenure, Barron has placed a strong emphasis on recognizing the importance of a diversity in higher education, noting the educational value it brings to everyone at the University.

The HEED Award is open to all colleges and universities in the United States. It measures an institution’s levels of achievement and commitment to broadening diversity and inclusion. Factors include initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

Penn State is one of only four institutions in Pennsylvania to receive the award. The others are: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Millersville University and Widener University.

“The HEED 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 — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”

For more information about the 2016 HEED Award, visit

  • HEED award 2016

    For the fourth year in a row, Penn State has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated September 08, 2016