Campus News

UK Receives INSIGHT Into Diversity 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

Two people talking.
Pete Comparoni l UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 18, 2019) — Today, the University of Kentucky received the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — UK will be featured in the November 2019 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the third year UK has been named as a HEED Award recipient.

“We know our campus thrives when we cultivate an inclusive community of belonging that celebrates the distinctiveness of our people," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "This award recognizes the rich tapestry of culture, race, background, ethnicity and lived experiences that fuel our efforts to do more — and be more — for our community, as the University for Kentucky.”

UK Vice President for Institutional Diversity Sonja Feist-Price said she is delighted that UK has received the HEED Award for the third consecutive year. 

This award is a testament of collaborative partnerships throughout our campus community who work diligently to create a community of belonging — where all of our constituents, irrespective of identity or perspective, feel that they matter to this University and thus feel a sense of belonging," she said. "This is what makes a university great.  While this University isn’t all it has the potential to be as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion, this award reflects that we’re moving in the right direction."

This recognition in consistent with the university's focus on promoting sustainable transformation around inclusion and diversity. With programs in place like the Ambassadors for Inclusive Excellence under the MLK Center and International Center, the Inclusive Health Summit within Inclusive Health Partnerships, and the Audre Lorde Living-Learning Program, a program facilitated through the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, UK strives to be a place where everyone feels welcome and has the opportunity to succeed. 

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

UK has earned several accolades for diversity and inclusion efforts in the last year, including a Forbes ranking for Best Employers for Diversity, recognition as a Diversity Champion by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine and a “Best of the Best” Top 30 LGBTQ-friendly college recognition by Campus Pride. 

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

For more information about the 2019 HEED Award, visit For more information about UK's diversity efforts, visit

Other recipients of the 2019 HEED Award are:

Adelphi University

Arkansas State University

Augustana College (IL)

Ball State University

California State University, East Bay

California State University, Fresno

California State University Northridge

California State University San Marcos

California State University, Fullerton

California State University, Los Angeles

Case Western Reserve University

Central Washington University

Clemson University

Columbia University in the City of New York

Cuyahoga Community College

Davenport University

DePaul University

East Carolina University

Eastern Washington University

El Paso County Community College District

Florida State University

Framingham State University

Georgia State University

Grand Valley State University

Greenville Technical College

Hillsborough Community College

Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Kansas State University

Kent State University

Lehigh University

Louisiana State University

Maryville University

Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Millersville University

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Mississippi State University

North Carolina State University

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Northeastern University

Ohio University

Oklahoma State University

Oregon State University

Pikes Peak Community College

Princeton University

Rochester Institute of Technology

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Seminole State College of Florida

Sonoma County Junior College District

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

State University of New York College of Cortland

SUNY Buffalo State College

SUNY Old Westbury

Swarthmore College

Texas A&M University

Texas Christian University

Texas Tech University

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Tulsa

Union College, NY

University at Albany, State University of New York

University of Central Florida

University of Cincinnati

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Georgia

University of Houston

University of Houston Law Center

University of Houston-Downtown

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

University of Louisville

University of Maryland School of Public Health

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

University of Missouri-Kansas City

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of North Florida

University of North Texas

University of Pittsburgh of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education

University of South Carolina

University of South Florida

University of West Florida

University of West Georgia

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Washington State University Vancouver

West Virginia University

Western Michigan University

William & Mary

William Marsh Rice University

Winston Salem State University

About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is well-known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Currently, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at