IU Bloomington, IUPUI receive 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

  • Sept. 15, 2015


INDIANAPOLIS and BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis have been honored with the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This is the first year IU Bloomington applied for and was recognized as a HEED Award recipient and the fourth consecutive year IUPUI has been recognized for its exemplary diversity initiatives.

This national honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Both Indiana University campuses will be featured, along with the other recipients, in the November 2015 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.

“Both campus communities, including faculty, staff, students and supporters, are to be commended for their dedication, focus and passion in supporting the university’s vision of creating a diverse, multicultural academic community,” said James Wimbush, vice president for IU's Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

The magazine’s recognition reflects IU Bloomington’s and IUPUI’s continued commitment to diversity, a top priority in each campus' strategic plan.

In making its selections, Insight Into Diversity factored in each institution’s campus and unit diversity plans; diversity recruitment and retention policies and initiatives; leadership involvement in diversity efforts; peer mentoring and tutoring programs; organizational structures; diversity training; minority student population data; and graduation rates and trends.

“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 a campus."

IU Bloomington

Insight's review process included a number of unique campus achievements on the IU Bloomington campus. The Groups Scholars Program, which admits about 300 first-generation, underrepresented students a year, increased funding in 2014. The change from covering the first year of college to covering all four years resulted in a 98 percent retention rate, the highest in the program’s history.

In addition, IU Bloomington offers the 21st Century Scholarship Covenant for four years, helping almost 1,000 students annually close the financial gap between tuition and the remaining educational costs that prevent students from enrolling.

Also noted was Bloomington’s Academic Support Center, which serves as a useful academic resource within the residence halls. In 2014, recognizing the need for more access-points -- especially for first-year students -- these support centers were expanded into all three residential "neighborhoods,” as well as cultural centers across campus and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs’ academic units.

Among many other initiatives that rose to the top, the university’s commitment to supporting multicultural education, resources and experiences was demonstrated in 2012, when the GLBT Student Support Services house became solely dedicated to supporting the needs of the GLBT campus community; and in 2014, when space was dedicated for Indiana University’s First Nations Educational and Cultural Center, both positioned for ease of access in the heart of the Bloomington campus.

“All of us on the IU Bloomington campus are deeply committed to promoting all aspects of diversity and inclusion,” said Martin McCrory, IU Bloomington’s associate vice president for academic support and diversity and vice provost for educational inclusion and diversity. "This award is recognition and affirmation of a broad range of collaborative partnerships and diversity and inclusion accomplishments.”


Insight Into Diversity magazine selected IUPUI through a rigorous application process in which the campus demonstrated a continued commitment to enhancing diversity and community engagement -- two key priorities included in IUPUI’s strategic plan as well as noted in its mission and vision statements.

Specific initiatives that contributed to IUPUI’s receipt of the HEED Award include a thriving Multicultural Center with inclusive programming, the convening of the Chancellor’s Diversity Cabinet and the introduction of a new LGBTQ Student Services Center in spring 2016.

To help monitor the strides it’s making in diversity, equity and inclusion, IUPUI publishes the annual Diversity Report, which measures performance on key diversity indicators. IUPUI will also monitor the effectiveness of new initiatives and approaches designed to improve diversity, institutional inclusiveness and work-life issues on campus through a quadrennial campus climate survey first launched in 2014. IUPUI was one of the first institutions in the nation to administer such an inclusive survey, which looked at political ideology, religious affiliation, citizenship status, race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability status and age.

“While we are thrilled to be recognized for the fourth consecutive year for the hard work put in by our students, staff, faculty and administrators, we know our job is far from complete on this issue,” Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Karen Dace said. “One of our new projects is a task force to study and make realistic suggestions to improve the recruitment, retention and graduation of African-American students. At IUPUI we are working to make diversity a thought, not an afterthought; an action, not a reaction.”

About the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs: The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs strives to foster an inclusive environment that promotes and nurtures diversity, broadly defined, on all campuses of Indiana University. To fulfill its mission, the office strategically focuses on the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students; the promotion of a welcoming and positive campus climate; and engagement in outreach and advocacy locally and nationally.

About Insight Into Diversity: Insight Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity publication in higher education today and is known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity 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 will also 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.

Media Contacts

Ryan Piurek

Margie Smith-Simmons