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Texas A&M Receives 2019 Higher Education Excellence In Diversity (HEED) Award

The university is also being recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity as a Diversity Champion. The accolades from the magazine recognize colleges and universities for outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion efforts.
By Caitlin Clark, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications September 18, 2019

Higher Education Excellence in Diversity logo
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has named Texas A&M a 2019 recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.

Texas A&M is receiving a 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award and being recognized as a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The HEED Award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Texas A&M is among 93 recipients of the HEED Award this year. It is also one of a limited number of institutions in the country to be selected for the Diversity Champion distinction.

“This national recognition is a testament to the faculty, staff and students who endeavor to provide a welcoming atmosphere where all Aggies can thrive,” said Texas A&M President Michael K. Young. “We are honored that INSIGHT Into Diversity has recognized these efforts to promote inclusive excellence, and will continue to work diligently to educate and empower a diverse community at Texas A&M.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity recognized Texas A&M for exemplifying dedication to diversity and inclusion throughout the campus community, across academic programs and at the highest administrative levels. The magazine points to the university’s comprehensive efforts toward fostering an inclusive environment for all students, faculty and staff, including:

  • The President’s Council on Climate and Diversity, which is charged with providing counsel to Texas A&M’s president, provost, and vice president and associate provost for diversity on practices for attracting and retaining diverse students, faculty and staff at Texas A&M.
  • The Diversity Matters Seed Grant Program, which supports research projects designed to make a positive impact on the Texas A&M Diversity Plan goals of accountability, campus climate and equity.
  • The Accountability, Climate, Equity and Scholarship (ACES) Fellows Program, a faculty hiring program aimed at promoting the research, teaching and scholarship of early career scholars who embrace the belief that diversity and inclusion are indispensable components of academic excellence.
  • The submission of annual reports for monitoring and evaluating progress toward the university’s diversity imperative, as established in the 2010 Diversity Plan. Every college and unit is required to submit a report regarding all diversity, campus climate and accountability initiatives.
  • A faculty exchange established in 2019 with Prairie View A&M University, an HBCU in the Texas A&M University System.
Diversity Champion logo
Texas A&M is among a limited number of colleges and universities to receive the Diversity Champion designation from INSIGHT Into Diversity.

“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. “We take a detailed 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 done every day across their campus.”

The Office for Diversity applied for the awards on behalf of the university. As part of the award process, the university was evaluated on the commitment of leadership to diversity and inclusion. Holly Mendelson, co-publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity, praised the role of Dr. Robin Means Coleman, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, who reports to the provost and the Office of the President. Means Coleman, who leads Texas A&M’s efforts in accountability, climate and equity, joined the university in April 2018.

“As evidenced by its Core Values, Texas A&M is committed to inclusion, equity and diversity,” Means Coleman said. “These honors from INSIGHT Into Diversity are a reflection of those efforts. While we celebrate the progress of the institution, the Office for Diversity will continue to work toward addressing ongoing challenges and advancing the culture of inclusion at Texas A&M.”

Like other universities across the country, Texas A&M in recent years has navigated hate- or bias-related incidents on campus. Mendelson said the university’s response to these episodes was also considered as part of the selection process for the awards.

While Texas A&M is a first-time Diversity Champion and HEED Award winner, the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences received HEED recognitions in the Health Professions category in 2018 and 2017.

More information about the HEED Award and Diversity Champion designation can be found at INSIGHT Into Diversity’s website.

Media contact: Caitlin Clark, 979-458-8412,

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