October 17, 2013

SIU earns national honor for diversity

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale has again earned national recognition for its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine today (Oct. 17) named SIU as a recipient of its Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award for the second consecutive year. The magazine is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. SIU is among 56 recipients that will be featured in the magazine’s November issue.

“This is an important honor for us, because it emphasizes that the message is inclusive excellence,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “Earning the HEED award two years in a row is a tribute to our faculty, staff and students. They promote an environment that welcomes all members of the SIU community and encourages their active participation in the life of the university.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity honored SIU for its diversity and inclusion initiatives, which includes all aspects of diversity: gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community.

“Receiving the HEED award two consecutive years affirms our commitment to inclusion through cultural competence,” Linda McCabe Smith, associate chancellor for institutional diversity, said. “There is still work to be done, but we are moving the right direction as shown by not once, but twice receiving this national recognition.”

Recipients include universities, community colleges, and law schools. Other HEED award winners include Princeton University, the University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Tech, and Ohio State University.

“We hope the HEED award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture,” magazine Publisher Lenore Pearlstein said.