Miami receives Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine

By Margo Kissell, university news and communications

Miami University has been awarded a 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The national honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Miami and other award recipients will be featured in the November issue of the magazine.

Bridges participants work together in a lab

Bridges Program participants work together in a lab on campus (photo by Scott Kissell).

“We are deeply honored to be recognized in this way by INSIGHT into Diversity,” Miami President Greg Crawford said. “As we continue to advance diversity, equity and inclusion on our campuses, this is an opportunity to celebrate our progress and to accelerate our mission for greater change in the future.”

The President’s Task Force for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) worked this summer to outline an aggressive path to change based on five pillars: dialogue and allyship; advocacy and partnerships; cultural competency; structured support and focused resources; and inclusion and accountability.  

The HEED Award selection consists of a comprehensive application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees, continued leadership support for diversity and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion, said Lenore Pearlstein, the magazine’s publisher.

Ron Scott

Ron Scott                                      (photo by Jeff Sabo)

“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,” she said.

The HEED Award comes coincidentally with the retirement of Ron Scott, Miami’s vice president for institutional diversity since 2009. Scott, an associate professor of media, journalism, and film, came to the university in 1988.  

“I wish to acknowledge and thank Ron for his unwavering leadership across so many years,” Crawford said. “The HEED Award honors the collective efforts of so many and highlights Ron’s tireless service and commitment to institutional diversity.”

Scott, who will retire in January, said he’s proud Miami is being recognized for its collaborative efforts through the years that has led to successes such as the Bridges Program, which provides an inside look at Miami and scholarships to prospective students; the Freedom Summer of ’64 Award, created to honor champions of civil rights and social justice; and the Diversity and Inclusion Conference, which this year will be held virtually on Oct. 9.

“It says we’re out there doing good things like other universities and should be proud,” Scott said.

Miami’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program was also recently honored by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. It was named a recipient of the magazine’s 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award.