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Ohio University recognized for excellence in diversity for third-straight year

Ohio University has been awarded the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine for the third year in a row. 

The announcement occurred during the August Ohio University Board of Trustees meeting, with INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine members making the announcement. 

“It is a great honor for Ohio University to once again be recognized for our accomplishments in creating a welcoming and safe place for all students, faculty and staff members,” President M. Duane Nellis said. “OHIO’s strength comes from the people, and we must make sure to continue in our goals of inclusivity and diversity to support and uplift our University community.” 

OHIO, along with other recipients, will be featured in the November 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The HEED Award is presented to colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada that showcase an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

OHIO’s HEED Award recognition coincides with a pivotal time for the University. During a time of change, OHIO is refocusing on core strategic priorities that ensure access, inclusion and success. In support of campus-wide inclusive excellence, OHIO continuously implements and deploys multi-faceted strategies related to recruitment, retention, student leadership development, academic success, inclusive pedagogy, diverse faculty mentoring, and proactive campus-wide diversity and inclusion education. 

“It is truly an honor for Ohio University to once again be recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity for our commitment to embracing diversity and creating inclusive spaces for all of the OHIO community,” Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Gigi Secuban said. “We are dedicated to continuing our educational programs and initiatives that seek to bring understanding, allyship, and support for all students, faculty and staff and ensure that all feel welcomed and empowered here at OHIO.”

OHIO has different initiatives on campus designed to help students know they have a place of support, and to highlight the voices of people from various backgrounds, including gender, race, LGBTQ+ identity, and religious and spiritual beliefs, along with others. Some programs include the Diversity Leadership Ambassador Program, Women Leading OHIO, and the Diverse Junior Faculty Mentoring Program, which provide spaces for different constituencies including students to faculty to feel empowered by personal experiences and professional mentorship opportunities.

OHIO also hosts many events that support diversity and inclusion efforts on campus. One of these is the annual week-long Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration that honors the life of King through multiple events focusing on racial justice, equality, and educational achievement. This year’s celebration included a silent march, a charity basketball game, an arts program, a multicultural fitness expo, a day of service and a school supply drive.

With pedagogical initiatives such as the Inclusive Pedagogy Academy and Keep Including, the Division works with partners across campus to promote inclusive teaching and learning, especially in times of remote and hybrid instruction. 

In response to recent events, the Division of Diversity and Inclusion has also developed Commit to Care + Act, a central location for campus programming and activities that are designed to provide education, resources and support for the OHIO faculty, staff and students to promote a culture of racial equity and social justice. Through this effort, Diversity and Inclusion hopes to create continuous opportunities for all OHIO members to feel welcome.

In June, Ohio University and The Ohio University Foundation also established the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund. The initial request for the creation of a Floyd Memorial Scholarship at OHIO was made by a group of alumni. Given these requests, and in response to the June 4 call from the president of North Central University challenging universities to consider creating a scholarship to honor Mr. Floyd, the memorial scholarship was established. 

To learn more about OHIO’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit

August 18, 2020
Staff reports