Case Western Reserve University has again received the national Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, a diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The award recognizes colleges and universities nationally that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Case Western Reserve has received the award each of the last nine years—since the honor was established in 2012.

The university will receive a plaque and be featured with 89 other recipients in the November 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Photo of Robert Solomon
Robert Solomon

“We are honored to once again be recognized with this national diversity excellence award,” said Robert L. Solomon, the university’s vice president for inclusion, diversity and equal opportunity. “The award is a testament to our continued commitment to inclusion and diversity and our success in many of our efforts. It also represents the collective commitment and hard work of many—our students, staff and faculty—and demonstrates that our campus community embraces inclusion and diversity as a core value. Although there is much more work to do, we can build on this foundation to create a sustained legacy of inclusive excellence.”

To be considered for the award, institutions complete an extensive application and summarize their diversity and inclusion initiatives. This year’s CWRU application highlighted:

  • Outreach programs to underrepresented students and communities, including The Envoys Program, which brings to campus low-income, local underrepresented high school students who engage in STEM research and academic programming; Emerging Scholars Program, which provides advising, academic support and networking opportunities to incoming first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students of color; and the Posse Foundation program, a nationally renowned program that strives to increase college access for promising urban students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Collegiate Connections, a mentoring program that matches first-year students with student mentors who provide academic, social and professional guidance and support.
  • Northern Ohio AGEP Alliance (NOA-AGEP) program, a group of seven Ohio institutions, led by Case Western Reserve, which works to improve the participation, preparation and success of underrepresented students in STEM graduate education and prepare these students to enter the professoriate.
  • The campuswide diversity education program, Diversity 360, which is now a requirement for all incoming staff, students and faculty.
  • Affinity and employee resource groups for students, staff and faculty.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees—and best practices for both—continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said INSIGHT Into Diversity Publisher Lenore Pearlstein. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. 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.”


For more information, contact Bill Lubinger at william.lubinger@case.edu.