Oklahoma State University has received the first annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award, which honors U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. OSU will be featured along with 47 other recipients in INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine's December 2012 issue.
"We are honored to be recognized for our commitment to diversity and pleased to be among those who are leading the way in creating diverse and inclusive campuses," said OSU President Burns Hargis.
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected OSU based on the institution's exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives that involve several aspects of diversity, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community. Specifically, OSU's Inclusion Leadership Program and Retention Initiative for Student Excellence (R.I.S.E) both have averaged more than 90 percent retention rates and 70 percent four-year graduation rates. Other diversity programs include the OSU Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP).
In addition to the programs specific to OSU, the university's Office of Institutional Diversity also works to increase inclusion across the state by serving as a member of the Oklahoma Minority Supplier Development Council (OKLAMSDC).
"As a land-grant institution it is important we expand our diversity efforts," said OSU's Associate Vice President for Diversity Jason Kirksey. "Working to expand supplier diversity across the state is an integral part of our commitment to improving the quality of life for all citizens of Oklahoma."
Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, said, "We hope the HEED award serves as a reminder that diversity and inclusion must remain priorities in the 21st century higher education landscape. Every college and university should recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as being part of their everyday life on campus. Our students of today are the employees of tomorrow and the future of our country. As students begin to enter the workforce and a global society, they must first be surrounded by and supported by faculty and staff that understand the differences among cultures and their needs."
For more information about the HEED award, visit INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine's website at www.insightintodiversity.com.
For more information about Oklahoma State University's diversity initiatives, visit www.diversity.okstate.edu.