Campus News

UK named 2022 HEED Award recipient, Diversity Champion by INSIGHT Into Diversity

Minority Student Welcome during K-Week,
The HEED Award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Arden Barnes | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2022) — For the sixth consecutive year, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, has recognized the University of Kentucky as a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award recipient.

The HEED Award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Open to all colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, HEED 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.

UK has also received INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine's highest honor — Diversity Champion, and for the first time ever, UK has broken the Top 20. Known for visionary leadership, Diversity Champions are institutions that set the standard for thousands of other campus communities striving for diversity and inclusion.

"Earning the HEED award for the sixth year in a row is a testament to our absolute commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion," said UK Vice President for Institutional Diversity Katrice Albert. "And, for the first time, we are proud to be recognized among the Top 20 of 5,000 submissions. While we have so much progress to make, we are working every day to race toward inclusive excellence. Because we know that everyone having access and opportunities to higher education is wildly possible. Creating inclusive excellence is everybody’s everyday work, and I am grateful to those who have made this possible.”

This recognition is consistent with the university's focus on promoting sustainable transformation around inclusion and diversity. With initiatives in place like the DEI implementation plananti-racist trainings led by Candice Hargons, a professor in UK’s College of Education, and the expanded Unconscious Bias Initiative (UBI), a program facilitated through the Office of  Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education (IEDE), UK strives to be a place where everyone feels welcome and has the opportunity to succeed. 

UK has earned several accolades for diversity and inclusion efforts this year, including a Forbes ranking for Best Employers for Diversity, Best Employers for Women and recognition as a Military Friendly® School by Victory Media.

These recognitions speak volumes to the dedication and hard work of faculty and staff across campus in their efforts to build a culture of inclusive excellence.

For more information about the 2022 HEED Award, visit For more information about UK's diversity efforts, visit

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.