University Honored for Excellence in Diversity
Emory received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award this month, recognizing the University’s commitment to building a diverse community.
The award was given by Insight Into Diversity, a diversity magazine and website in higher education that has been covering issues of diversity for the last 40 years, according to an Oct. 13 University press release.
According to Dona Yarbrough, associate vice provost for community and diversity, the honor measures an institution’s commitment to diversity through programs, student recruitment and retention and hiring practices for faculty and staff.
“This award recognizes the collaborative efforts of students, faculty and administrators to leverage the diversity in the Emory community for positive transformation in the world,” said Andy Wilson, senior associate dean of Campus Life external relations.
Not only is Emory committed to a diverse community but it is also aware of areas where improvements could be made following the creation of the Campus Life Compact, a committee that aims to organize diversity around campus, according to Assistant Dean for Campus Life and Director of the Office of Student Leadership and Service Matthew Garrett.
“We must always be in a state of positive examination of our community,” Garrett said, adding that one of the greatest challenges in creating a diverse community is to include everyone when creating programs and services.
Yarbrough added that the campus-wide Advisory Council on Community and Diversity (ACCD) was highlighted in Emory’s application for the award.
According to the website of the Office of the Provost, the ACCD was created in fall 2011 in place of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), the President’s Commission on Race and Ethnicity (PCORE) and the President’s Commission on Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Queer Equality (PCSGDQE).
The ACCD provides guidelines for each division of Emory to assess their efforts to create a diverse community through short- and long-term goals, Yarbrough said.
Though both of these programs assist Emory in creating a more diverse community, Garrett stressed that they are not the only reasons for this award. He said Emory was commemorated for its overall effort and commitment.
“It is a reminder of the good work we have done, but more importantly, the award signifies our commitment to continuing our work to create a socially just community,” said Ajay Nair, senior vice president and dean of Campus Life.
Nair added that Emory is striving toward becoming a community that reflects the kind of world people want to live in.
Yarbrough said the award is a recognition of past and current efforts, adding that she hopes it will also inspire Emory to move forward in bold and innovative ways.
— By Naomi Maisel