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.