For the second consecutive year, William & Mary has been selected to receive a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
According to a press release from the publication, the award recognizes “U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
“As the award recognizes, the William & Mary community continues to enthusiastically seek ways to make higher education more diverse and inclusive,” said W&M President Katherine A. Rowe. “The positive momentum across all levels of faculty and staff inspires us to ever expand our efforts to become more welcoming and equitable. This work is especially important during this year of planning for the future at William & Mary; we celebrate the groundwork we’ve already accomplished and reaffirm our commitment to accomplish more.”
W&M will be featured with the other award recipients in the magazine’s November 2019 issue. According to the release, INSIGHT Into Diversity is “the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.” The magazine’s HEED Award is the only such award that recognizes colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts, the release said.
The university’s application for the award featured initiatives happening across the university.
“I am excited that the collective work of our William & Mary community is being recognized,” said Chief Diversity Officer Chon Glover. “The work of diversity and inclusion is not done in isolation, but in collaboration with all areas of the institution. This award is a great example of the strength of whole-institution thinking.”
Some of the new efforts highlighted in the application include the opening of the Shenkman Jewish Center and the inaugural year of the IGNITE: Future Faculty Development Program, which brought emerging scholars from underrepresented groups to the university in the spring to gain familiarity with W&M and help develop their professional networks. Additionally, the university became an institutional member with the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, which supports post-docs and faculty at all levels, and W&M culminated a commemoration of 100 years of co-education that highlighted the significant impact of women in philanthropy.
The application also featured W&M’s efforts to memorialize the people enslaved by the university, the work being done this year to honor and remember the first enslaved African people brought to English North America in 1619 and the opportunity for W&M to host the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) conference in November.
“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, in the press release. “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.”
Glover said she hopes the award symbolically shows W&M’s ongoing commitment to the diversity work that is essential to it being an inclusive university focused on academic excellence. She also hopes it will continue to challenge the campus community to build on what has been accomplished and “be the impetus to ‘keep up the momentum’ moving forward,” said Glover
“We have seen much success, but there is much more work to be done,” she said.
Glover has invited the editor of the magazine to present the award at the university’s upcoming Diversity & Inclusion Symposium, scheduled for Nov. 1.