By Madelin Shelton — 

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has named the University of Louisville as a 2020 HEED Award recipient and a 2020 Diversity Champion.

According to INSIGHT Into Diversity’s magazine, “The INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education in Diversity (HEED) Award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

For this recognition, U of L will be featured in the November 2020 issue of the magazine along with the other 89 universities also designated as recipients.

U of L was one of a limited number of colleges and universities also named a Diversity Champion. Diversity Champions are chosen for their exceptional commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities.

Dr. Faye Jones, U of L Senior Associate Vice President for Diversity and Equity and Associate Vice President for Health Affairs/Diversity Initiatives, said Diversity Champion status is only awarded to those institutions who rank in the top tier of HEED Award recipients.

Colleges and universities that receive this award are the gold standard for other higher education institutions seeking to improve their diversity and inclusion practices.

The magazine chose U of L for these high honors after looking at its achievement and commitment to broadening diversity and inclusion. According to INSIGHT Into Diversity’s website, this encompasses campus initiatives, programs, and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

Holly Mendelson, a Publisher for INSIGHT Into Diversity, said of U of L, “It was clear from the institution’s efforts to recruit, retain, and support diverse students and employees, as well as the ways in which diversity, equity and inclusion are pulled throughout U of L’s campus, that the university is dedicated to this mission.”

While U of L has been named a HEED award recipient for five years, this is the first year they have attained Diversity Champion status.

Jones commended U of L’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the university’s numerous diversity committees and employee resource groups, while still acknowledging the work that needs to be done at U of L.

Jones mentioned that with the leadership role U of L has in the Louisville community, the university must continue to create opportunities for difficult discussions that help lead to solutions.

“As a long-time faculty and administrator at U of L, I would like to see us improve our efforts to not only recruit faculty of color, but to retain BIPOC, with special emphasis being given to decrease the turnover of Black faculty in recent years and increase the number of Hispanic/Latino faculty,” Jones said.

Jones also hopes to see the university work to decrease health disparities and achievement gaps that negatively impact underrepresented and underfunded communities.

File Photo//The Louisville Cardinal