Texas A&M: Texas A&M University Receives National Diversity Award For Third Straight Year

Texas A&M University has been named a recipient of the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, an honors the university has garnered for the past three years.

The HEED award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. In 2021, 101 institutions received the HEED Award. Texas A&M will be featured in the November 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“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 — as well as continued leadership support for diversity and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “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 campus.”

Annie McGowan, Texas A&M interim vice president and associate provost for diversity, said she and her colleagues in the Office for Diversity are delighted to be recognized by the reviewers of INSIGHT Into Diversity.

“The HEED Award is a prestigious honor acknowledging the hard work and commitment of our many campus partners working to advance our Diversity Plan goals,” McGowan said. “However, we must continuously work to improve dynamics between the individuals and groups that comprise our campus community to increase Texas A&M’s potential to realize sustainable benefits from this commitment. This essential next step will make it easier for us to achieve our land grant mission to serve persons of all racial, ethnic and geographic groups.”

McGowan said the Office for Diversity makes explicit that progress towards diversity, equity and inclusion is a commitment from students, faculty, staff and leaders across our campus communities. “Winning a HEED Award holds the university to a higher standard of accountability by requiring us to candidly reflect on our shortcomings and identify new strategies for improvement,” she said. “Applying for the HEED Award requires Texas A&M to critically assess our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, recognize promising, impactful strategies and determine areas in need of improvement.”

McGowan said both the university and the Office for Diversity are “proud to accept this prestigious award on behalf of the outstanding groups and individuals who work tirelessly to make Texas A&M accessible to all, in particular those who have historically been excluded from and underrepresented in higher education.”

Among the groups and efforts recognized by the HEED Award are: the President’s Council on Climate and Diversity (PCCD), the Diversity Operations Committee (DOC), Quest for the Ring, the Accountability, Equity, and Scholarship (ACES) Faculty Fellows Program; annual Diversity Accountability Reports from the university’s colleges and units, the Office of Sustainability, and more.

“We celebrate those whose efforts are helping to move us in the direction of our public land-grant mission by working to eliminate racism, bias, and discrimination from our campus culture,” McGowan said, adding thanks to the university community “for continuing to hold us accountable to our Aggie Core Values and to our shared goals of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

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