Education and Human Resources

Universities win national diversity award

October 6, 2015
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Grand Rapids-based Davenport University serves about 7,500 students on campuses across the state and online, with more than 60 undergraduate and graduate programs. Courtesy Davenport University

Two West Michigan universities are being recognized for their commitment to diversity.

Davenport University and Western Michigan University have received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

The HEED Award recognizes U.S. colleges that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The HEED Award “measures 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,” according to the publication.

Representatives of the publisher Potomac Publishing evaluate schools for the recognition.

Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity, said the publication looks for “institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across a campus.”

This year, 91 colleges and universities are being recognized with the award and will be featured in the magazine’s November issue.


Davenport University said this is its fourth consecutive year receiving the award.

“Davenport University prides itself on the exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives and its ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity at all of its campuses across Michigan, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community and others,” said Rhae-Ann Booker, executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion, Davenport University.


Western Michigan University is receiving the HEED Award for the third consecutive year.

"Being a diverse and inclusive campus is a core value for Western Michigan University, and we recognize that institutional diversity is the work of the entire campus community," said Martha Warfield, VP for diversity and inclusion, WMU.

Other Michigan school

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business is the only other Michigan school to receive the HEED Award.

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