NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma is a recipient of the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, which is the only national award that honors individual institutions for being outstanding examples of colleges or universities that are committed to making diversity and inclusion a top priority across their campuses.
The award is given by INSIGHT Into Diversity, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.
“The university is especially pleased to receive this award because it confirms our goal of being a truly inclusive university family where all feel welcomed,” said OU President David L. Boren. “All of the university community, students, faculty, staff and alumni have worked hard together to earn this recognition.”
Earlier this year, the magazine honored Boren with its Giving Back Award, which honors presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities who go above and beyond their everyday leadership duties and “give back” to their campuses and communities.
The Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff. Applications are comprehensive, covering all aspects of campus diversity and inclusion.
To centralize oversight for all diversity programs within the university, including Admissions, OU has established the position of Vice President for the University Community which reports directly to the President. OU requires all incoming students to participate in the Diversity and Inclusivity Experience, a five-hour curriculum-based training. OU Norman campus minority enrollment rose this year, including an increase of more than 7.6 percent in freshman minority enrollment. It is the most diverse freshman class in the history of OU. All OU colleges have designated faculty or staff who address Diversity, Community and Inclusion initiatives.