For the seventh year in a row, Millersville University (MU) has been nationally recognized with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The HEED Award recognizes the efforts and successes of colleges and universities to encourage diversity and inclusion on their campuses. It is the only award of its kind in the country.
“Millersville University strives to be a place where all students, faculty and staff feel welcome and valued. Diversity and inclusion are two of our guiding principles on which the University is building toward our future,” says Millersville University President Dr. Daniel Wubah. “Dr. Kim Mahaffy has been integral in the University’s efforts to embed these principles on campus through her role last year as the coordinator of the Office of Diversity and Social Justice, along with directing the Latina/o Studies program. Together, through the hard work of many compassionate individuals on campus, we will make diversity and inclusion not just something to which we aspire but a reality on our campus.”
The University hosts a variety of programs and events through the Intercultural Center that emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion. Student organizations focus on community outreach, and faculty and staff promote an environment of inclusivity.
“We aspire to be an environment where we value all members’ contributions and recognize diversity as an asset. To achieve that goal, individuals and departments have committed resources, including time, energy and money, to create an inclusive campus,” says Mahaffy. “Each year, we demonstrate improvement in our efforts.”
The HEED Award process is comprehensive and rigorous, examining a range of questions related to recruitment, retention and leadership support for diversity programs. Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine said this about the process, “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 accomplished every day across their campus.”
“To receive this award, the applicants must document not only efforts to increase numerical diversity (e.g., racial/ethnic diversity, gender diversity, religious diversity, Veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community) but also explain how it creates and maintains a supportive atmosphere through scholarships, accountability structures, and training,” says Mahaffy. “The award examines the institutional climate comprehensively and evaluates institutional responses to incidents that would disrupt an inclusive campus.”
Compiling data for this application is a major undertaking that requires a full year of reviewing the University’s activities, statistics and policies. Each year, the University must demonstrate that is has surpassed the previous year’s efforts and is addressing areas where there has been less attention to creating an inclusive campus.”
MU will be included in the annual HEED Award issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine in November.