The University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL) has once again been honored with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, marking the fourth consecutive year and the seventh overall recognition. UMSL’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment where individual differences are celebrated has earned the university a spot among the 109 colleges and universities nationwide receiving this prestigious award.
Tanisha Stevens, UMSL’s vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion, expressed the university’s joy in receiving the award and highlighted how it aligns with the core values of UMSL. The commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident in recruitment and retention efforts, inclusive hiring practices, and intentional conversations within the campus community.
Stevens emphasized that the award application process provided an opportunity for critical reflection on the university’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity. These discussions align with the ongoing development of UMSL’s next five-year strategic plan, focusing on inclusive excellence and the university’s role as an anchor institution in the St. Louis area.
Despite the challenges faced by diversity initiatives in public debates, UMSL remains steadfast in its commitment to providing educational access to students from diverse backgrounds. The university, recognized for its cultural and ethnic diversity, ranks among the top 100 universities in the country for social mobility.
UMSL’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion actively promotes inclusive programming throughout the academic year, celebrating various groups on campus. The university also leads initiatives, such as the St. Louis Anchor Action Network, to advance equity and remove barriers to economic opportunity in underserved communities.
The HEED Award acknowledges UMSL’s comprehensive approach to diversity and inclusion, recognizing institutions where these values are embedded in daily campus activities and culture.