Campus News

UK named 2023 HEED Award recipient by INSIGHT Into Diversity

UK MANRRS students during K Week on campus Aug. 19, 2023. Arden Barnes | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 11, 2023) — For the seventh 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.

UK has also been recognized as a 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 Diversity Champion by Insight into Diversity magazine. UK is one of only a handful of institutions in the nation to receive this honor seven consecutive years.

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, 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.

"Being honored with the prestigious HEED award for the seventh year in a row illuminates the hard work and dedication of so many doing so much to create the inclusive university culture we all deserve,” said UK Vice President for Institutional Diversity Katrice Albert. “There is no universal template for how we achieve our highest expectation of inclusive excellence, however, our promising practices and courageous leadership continues to position UK as a leader-among-leaders with other institutions that have captured the HEED Award. I am inspired by our commitment to build necessary and important connections with one another and create meaningful moments that help us all become a version of our best selves.”

With initiatives in place like the DEI implementation planStart-to-Finish mentorship program led by The Center for Graduate and Professional Diversity Initiatives (CGPDI), 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. 

“This recognition is consistent with the university's focus on promoting sustainable transformation around inclusion and diversity,” Albert said. “We know our campus thrives when we cultivate an inclusive community of belonging that celebrates the distinctiveness of our people. 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 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.

For more information about the 2023 HEED Award, visit For more information about UK's diversity efforts, visit

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.