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CWRU earns Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for 10th straight year

For the 10th consecutive year, Case Western Reserve University is the recipient of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

As a recipient of the annual HEED Award, Case Western Reserve will be featured, along with 100 other recipients, in the November 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. CWRU has received the national award every year since the honor was established in 2012, and is one of only seven institutions to receive the award for 10 consecutive years.

“I am incredibly honored to learn that Case Western Reserve University has been recognized for its diversity, equity and inclusion accomplishments for the 2020/2021 academic year, and that we are among just seven institutions nationally to be so honored for 10 consecutive years,” said Robert Solomon, the university’s vice president for the Office of Inclusion Diversity & Equal Opportunity. “I consider it a distinct privilege to have contributed to such a distinguished 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:

  • The Diversity Executive Advisory Council (DEAC), which worked with individual schools to help them develop their diversity statements and strategic action plans, in addition to appointing positions within each school to ensure diversity and inclusion initiatives are taking place, and that best practices are being followed.
  • Implementation of recruitment strategies aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented minority faculty positions, including required “interrupting bias” training for all faculty and staff involved in the faculty search process.  
  • A collaborative program called Understanding the Black Student Experience, offering an opportunity for underrepresented minority students at the university to come together virtually to build community and be introduced to faculty, staff, services, resources, student groups, organizations and programming.

According to Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the application process is intentionally comprehensive and rigorous. 

“[It] 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,” she said. “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.”

Learn more about the HEED Award.