For the third consecutive year, Oklahoma State University is being nationally recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusion with the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The university will be featured with other colleges and universities in the publication’s November issue.
“We are pleased to once again be recognized for our commitment to a richly diversified campus that is known for its ongoing efforts to make inclusion part of its everyday culture,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “It also confirms that we have momentum to build upon as we strive to support OSU’s land-grant mission for a higher education that’s accessible to all.”
Dr. Jason Kirksey, associate vice president for institutional diversity at OSU, said the award exemplifies OSU’s exceptional qualities in the cultivation and strengthening of efforts to respect, value, and celebrate diversity. “Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our overall commitment to excellence in a university community that is socially, culturally, and globally connected. Being a recipient of this nationally prestigious award for three consecutive years, recognizes the fact that the diversity and inclusion work at OSU is significant and transformative, and it solidifies our place as a national leader in higher education.”
OSU statistics show the university has experienced a 76 percent increase in the total enrollment of students of color since fall of 2009, along with a record enrollment of 5,200 undergraduate students of color this fall. “I am most excited about the latest data that indicates a 37 percent increase in the number of students of color earning bachelor’s degrees at OSU from May of 2010 – May of 2014, which also includes an 88 percent increase among Latino students earning such degrees,” said Kirksey.
Nearly 70 diversity-related student organizations at OSU allow students to promote their heritage and become leaders. Many students begin programs in high school that transition them into the college environment.
“Of course, the personal commitment to diversity and inclusion from our leaders is essential for progress, and President Hargis gives us that in a confident and compassionate way that’s embraced by our university community,” said Kirksey.
INSIGHT Into Diversitymagazine is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. For more information about the 2014 HEED award winners, visit www.insightintodiversity.com.