Tulane wins national award for commitment to diversity and inclusion

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, has awarded the 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award to Tulane University.

The annual HEED Award is a national honor which recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Tulane will be featured, along with other winners in the undergraduate category, in the November 2022 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“I am very excited about this award,” added Anneliese Singh, associate provost for diversity and faculty development. “I truly believe it reflects the leadership of President Fitts and where he has brought us as a university, as well as the long-standing work of our EDI champions on campus who have called us to deepen our work in this area and make significant and sustainable change.”

Creating an inclusive university dedicated to equity, diversity, compassion, respect and opportunity for students, faculty and staff from all backgrounds is one of the main pillars of President Michael Fitts’ strategic vision for Tulane. This includes long-term, university-wide commitments through the numerous initiatives of the Presidential Commission on Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Two major components of the commission are A Plan for Now, which provides structure and direction for EDI initiatives already underway, and A Strategy for Tomorrow, which will guide such initiatives across the university over the next five years.

Singh also recognized Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Robin Forman and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick J. Norton for their investment in the university’s EDI initiatives, as well as the HEED Award submission team co-chaired by Singh and EDI Office Data Strategist Eva Silvestre, which included members of the President’s Office, the Office of Human Resources and Institutional Equity, Newcomb-Tulane College, and the Carolyn Barber-Pierre Center for Intercultural Life.

Although much more work remains to be done in creating a more equitable, diverse and inclusive community, Tulane has shown measurable progress. The number of Tulane students who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC) is continually rising. In fact, the newest Tulanians to arrive on campus — the Class of 2026 — is the most diverse class ever, with 30% identifying as BIPOC, a 43% increase since 2017.

Carolyn Barber-Pierre, assistant vice president for student affairs and intercultural life, who interacts with students daily, said she, too, was encouraged that the university’s award is proof of the hard work by many Tulanians. The award “shows an amazing transition under the leadership of our current administration, President Fitts, Anneliese Singh and her staff, to name a few. I’m excited that we’re moving in a direction of equity, diversity and inclusiveness that is long needed — I’m excited and proud.”

“A great university seeks to attract the most promising students, faculty and staff from every part of our society and to offer an inclusive, diverse and supportive environment geared toward advancing our contributions to the betterment of the world,” President Fitts said. “This award recognizes the critical importance of our past efforts to create a more diverse community and serves as ongoing encouragement as we continue our journey toward this goal.”

“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 — leadership support for diversity, campus culture and climate, supplier diversity, and many 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 their campus.”

Click here to see the full list of 2022 HEED Award recipients.

For more information about the 2022 HEED Award, visit insightintodiversity.com.