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Florida State receives national award for excellence in diversity

Florida State University's continuing efforts to move diversity and inclusion to the forefront of the university mission received national recognition as the institution earned INSIGHT Into Diversity's 2014 "Higher Education Excellence in Diversity" (HEED) Award.

The HEED Award annually recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education today.

"Florida State University is proud of its commitment to make diversity and inclusion a campuswide priority," said Interim President Garnett S. Stokes. "This award recognizes our dedication to creating and maintaining a diverse campus community that respects differences and values the rich educational environment that evolves through such efforts."

Florida State embarked on a comprehensive plan to unite efforts for diversity and inclusion in 2007-2008 with the vision of being a university and workplace of choice. The initiative is led by the university's Champions of Diversity and Inclusion, which includes Stokes and Florida State's vice presidents and senior staff members.

"At FSU, diversity is at the very core of who we are as an institution," said Kyle Clark, vice president of Finance and Administration. "We are honored to receive the HEED award as it recognizes our hard work in this area while also reminding us that there is still more to be accomplished. We look forward to continuing our efforts."

Among the steps the university has taken to implement this continuing initiative are:

Website: A dedicated website that is a hub for diversity and inclusion resources, such as lists of leadership programs for students, faculty and staff, best practices for recruitment and retention of faculty and community outreach efforts.

Reading List: A list of selected books on the topic of diversity available to the entire campus community through Florida State's libraries.

FSU Supplier Diversity Program: A program designed to enhance the university's supplier base that reflects the wide diversity of our students, faculty, staff and community by expanding relationships and enriching economic opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses.

Entrepreneurial Boot Camp for Veterans (EBV) Program: Cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management for soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines disabled as a result of their service supporting post-9/11 operations.

FSU Global Pathways Certificate Program: A program that exposes FSU students to rich cultural learning experiences.

Seminole Allies and Safe Zone Training: A program that provides free workshops offered regularly throughout the school year to students, faculty and staff. The trainings are presented as an intensive three-hour, in-house session focused on allyship and contemporary issues related to the LGBTQ community.

Cultural Competency Certificate: A certificate program to assist graduate students and teaching assistants in creating credible and meaningful practice through diversity and inclusion. This certificate focuses on enhancing awareness, knowledge and skills in the area of multicultural competence to work more effectively with diverse student populations and issues related to diversity.

Policies: A focus on making sure the university's policies and programs are aligned with the university's philosophy of diversity and inclusion to ensure there are no barriers to optimal performance.

"We are thrilled to receive this great recognition for the university and our diversity efforts," said Renisha Gibbs, assistant vice president for Human Resources and Finance and Administration chief of staff. "At FSU, we recognize that by valuing, celebrating and leveraging the differences and similarities of our students, faculty and staff, we inspire an environment of innovation and passion that better reflects the needs of our students, faculty, staff, customers and communities."

The HEED Award measures an institution's level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

For more information on Florida State's diversity and inclusion initiatives, visit: hr.fsu.edu/diversity/.

By Amy Farnum-Patronis
25 September 2014

 
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