Stockton University Earns 4th National Diversity Award

By: Follow South Jersey Staff

Stockton University’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, the  Multicultural Center, is scheduled to open in spring 2022. Photo credit: Stockton University.

GALLOWAY, N.J. — Days after receiving word that they were ranked at No. 7 among Northern schools in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report’s College Rankings, Stockton University has received its fourth national Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT into Diversity magazine in Washington D.C.  

The award recognizes the diversity and inclusion efforts of the university, which also previously won awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“The fact that this is our fourth award is a tribute to the ongoing, campus-wide commitment of university faculty, staff and students,” President Harvey Kesselman said.

Stockton Chief Officer for Diversity and Inclusion Valerie Hayes said the application process and subsequent award serves not just as recognition for the work at Stockton, but also an opportunity to learn what other universities are doing.

“We learn from each other,” Hayes said.

Among the accomplishments included in the 2021 award are:

  • The Board of Trustees passed a resolution on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice, in which the board stated that Stockton would be a leader in social justice issues.
  • The establishment of the Race and Racism Education course requirement for all students to ensure critical issues are embedded within all programs.
  • The creation of an Office of Academic Achievement Programs in the Division of Student Affairs to improve retention of Black and Latinx students.
  • The Student Senate established a Senate Diversity and Inclusion Committee that centers on supporting diverse student groups on campus and ensuring their voices are heard.
  • A new Multicultural Center will open in spring 2022.
  • Development and Alumni Relations established the Alumni Conference on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in collaboration with alumni and others on campus to host virtual conversations on important topics facing Stockton and higher education.
  • The HEED Award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campus. This year’s 101 honorees, chosen from more than 300 applications, will be featured in the November 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity.

“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,” Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, said. “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.”

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