West Virginia University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has been recognized with the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
“While there is much more work to accomplish, we continue to strive every day to support and implement our system wide diversity efforts,” said David M. Fryson, WVU’s vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, noting partnerships with several other campus initiatives including, the Office of Global Affairs, the Center for Black Culture and Research, WVU ADVANCE to increase participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering and the new LGBTQ+ Center, as well as ongoing efforts throughout the academy.”
WVU President Gordon Gee praised Fryson for helping the University promote diversity and inclusion in all areas. “Under David’s leadership, WVU is almost daily becoming a more welcoming and safe place for all students, faculty and staff,” he said. “We have seen this in tremendous growth in applications from minority students, for example, and significant increase in minority students in our incoming freshman class.”
The magazine said it selected WVU because of the strong ongoing effort to support diversity, including efforts to attract and retain diverse faculty and students, the innovative Chancellors Scholars Fellowship for underrepresented doctoral students, and the emergence of diversity initiatives system wide.
The magazine also praised the University for extending diversity efforts to the statewide underrepresented community, interpreting its land-grant mission through programs such as the West Side Revive, a program of uplift and connection to the West Side of Charleston, the most diverse community in the state where there are many urban issues such as negative educational outcomes and challenges in the area of the social determinants of health.
INSIGHT Publisher Lenore Pearlstein said, “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.
“We take a holistic 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,” she said.
WVU will be featured, along with 82 other recipients, in the November 2016 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
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