ECU freshmen, left to right, David Lopez, Jordan Toth and David Warren take a break from classes near the Trustees Fountain. Attention to diversity and inclusion in everyday campus culture has led to a third consecutive HEED Award for East Carolina University. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

ECU recognized for leadership in diversity, inclusion

Sept. 25, 2014

By Jamitress Bowden
For ECU News Services

East Carolina University has been recognized with the HEED award for the third consecutive year for its efforts in diversity and inclusion.

The Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award is given by Insight into Diversity magazine. The magazine annually recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“ECU continues to be among the leaders of diversity and inclusion efforts and initiatives within higher education and we’re being recognized for our efforts,” said LaKesha Alston, associate provost for equity and diversity.

Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight into Diversity, said, “We hope the HEED award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture.”

This recognition also aligns with the university’s new strategic plan, Beyond Tomorrow, which includes continuing the commitment to diversity and inclusion and increasing opportunity as two of the seven guiding principles.

“The Office for Equity and Diversity will be collaborating with partners across campus to develop the institution’s diversity plan for the next five years in alignment with the university’s strategic plan,” said Alston.

Working to provide students with a globally diverse and inclusive environment and curriculum is important for success, Alston said. Providing employees with a diverse and inclusive workplace is equally important and both remain a priority in groups at the university, such as the Chancellor’s Diversity Leadership Cabinet.

“Making sure that we preserve our mission as an access university, regardless of individual or cultural difference, is very important to me,” said Alston.

Also from North Carolina recognized were Elon University and N.C. State University.