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Oklahoma State University

OSU earns national honor for diversity and inclusion, cited as role model

Wed, May 10, 2017
Dr. Jason Kirksey, vice president for the Division of Institutional Diversity and chief diversity officer at Oklahoma State University.

Oklahoma State University will be recognized for its diversity and inclusion efforts with the Roosevelt Thomas Champion of Diversity Award on June 8 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The honor is awarded annually by the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), a national, nonprofit organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals.

“This award is a special acknowledgement of OSU’s outstanding achievements in promoting diversity in the workforce,” said Myron R. Anderson, president of AAAED.  “You are indeed a role model for all of us as we seek to promote access, equity and diversity among equal opportunity and diversity professions and in civil rights in general.”

In selecting OSU for the award, AAAED noted the university continues to emerge as a nationally-recognized leader in diversity and inclusion, and is establishing a standard for its future advancement. 

“We are honored and extremely humbled to have earned another nationally-prestigious award, which affirms our work to facilitate a culture of inclusion that provides new opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff to achieve advancements in their pursuit of excellence,” said Dr. Jason F. Kirksey, vice president for the Division of Institutional Diversity and chief diversity officer at OSU. “It is especially gratifying to know that, as a university system, diversity and inclusion is the expectation, rather than the exception at OSU.”

In the past year, OSU has received the 2016 National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Institutional Excellence Award, the 2016 Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council Corporation of the Year Award, the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the 2016 Minority Access, Inc. Institution Committed to Diversity Award, the 2016 Mosaic Five-star Inclusive Workplace Culture Award from the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce’s diversity business council, the NADOHE 2017 Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr. Distinguished Service Award, and last fall earned the designation of a Purple Heart University. Additionally, OSU is one of eighteen schools in the nation to have received the HEED Award five consecutive years, and is ranked in the 25th Annual Top 100 Degree Producers edition of Diverse Issues in Higher Education for the number of African American, American Indian, Asian American, and Latino graduates across multiple degree fields.

“As appreciative as we are for the recognition and accolades, we know that OSU is a special place because many or our most significant diversity and inclusion efforts are rarely recorded in reports or award nominations,” said Kirksey. “It is exciting to recognize all that OSU has achieved under the leadership of President Burns Hargis and the Division of Institutional Diversity, and everyone affiliated with the university should be proud of our reputation and commitment. However, we also understand and acknowledge much work remains to sustain and build on that commitment and accomplish OSU’s goals toward inclusive excellence.”

Kirksey will travel to Scottsdale, Arizona to receive the award, on behalf of the university, during the AAAED Annual Awards program and 43rd National Conference.  AAAED members include individuals and organizations from the public and private sectors, business, social services, law, government and academic institutions. Nearly one-half work for institutions of higher education. For more information, go to: www.aaaed.org.