Rice receives Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

Rice University has received a 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine.

HEED Award Excellence in DiversityThe HEED Award is the only national award honoring U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, according to the magazine, which is the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education.

The award is intended to measure 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.

“Rice University strikes a very different picture today than it did at its founding at the turn of the 20th century,” said Roland Smith, associate provost of diversity and inclusion. “Its charter included restrictions that limited enrollment to ‘white inhabitants’ of ‘slender means.’ Today, the undergraduate population has no majority ethnic or racial group.

“Cultivation of a diverse scholarly community is central to the fulfillment of Rice’s educational mission and goals,” Smith said. “Rice works diligently through a structure of working groups to ensure that its campus provides an open, welcoming environment in which faculty, students and staff can teach, learn and thrive in a community of inclusive excellence.”

David Medina and Jan West of Public Affairs’ Multicultural Community Relations Office spearheaded the project of submitting a comprehensive application for the award, which required input from the offices of Diversity and Inclusion, Admission, Institutional Research, Human Resources and Equal Education Opportunity Program/Affirmative Action.

The list of HEED Award winners will be published in the magazine’s November issue.

About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.