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National award highlights University’s continued commitment to diversity

For the second year in a row, the University has been recognized for its efforts to support equity and inclusivity across campus.

The University of Rochester received the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

As a recipient of the annual HEED Award—a national honor recognizing US colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—Rochester will be featured, along with 100 other recipients, in the November 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the second year the University has been named as a HEED Award recipient.

“We are truly honored to be named a recipient of the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award,” says Mercedes Ramírez Fernández, the Richard Feldman Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer. “The University has made important strides in our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Although there is still much work to do, we are determined to move forward as one university, with EDI built into every corner of our institution.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Rochester for its efforts to engage every academic and administrative unit in equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives at the University. Those initiatives range from revised policies and procedures to equity, diversity, and inclusion action plans submitted by each department across the institution.

“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,” says Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “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.”

In recent years, the University’s professional schools have also been selected for the honor, with the School of Medicine and Dentistry receiving a HEED Award in 2019, and the School of Nursing being honored with its fifth consecutive award in 2021.

Note: This story was updated on October 20, 2021, to reflect the School of Nursing’s most recent HEED Award.

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