University earns national recognition for diversity, inclusion outreach on campus

Grand Valley again received national recognition for its efforts to broaden diversity and inclusion programs and outreach on campus.

Insight Into Diversity, the nation's oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, awarded Grand Valley and 89 other institutions the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award September 1. 

It is the third time GVSU has received the award, also earning it in 2012 and 2019.

Jesse Bernal, vice president for Inclusion and Equity and executive associate for presidential initiatives, said the HEED Award measures an institution's level of achievement and commitment to diversity on campus through outreach, student recruitment, retention, hiring practices and programming.

"We are honored again to be among the recipients of the HEED Award," Bernal said. "It demonstrates that the university has leadership support to implement best practices. But we recognize there is still work to do to ensure a welcoming and inclusive campus for everyone. At Grand Valley, our actions center efforts for institutional change and support the president's charge for social and racial justice."

Following George Floyd's death in late spring, President Philomena V. Mantella announced action steps to support social and racial justice at the university and charges to assist the greater community.

HEED Award recipients are selected through an application process that includes questions about recruitment and retention of students and employees and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion.