CWU News

CWU Recognized for Excellence in Diversity With Seventh HEED Award

Diversity sign on campus

CWU received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for the seventh time in the past eight years in 2021.

Central Washington University once again earned the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT into Diversity magazine in 2021, marking the seventh time in the past eight years that CWU has earned the recognition.

Central is one of approximately 100 institutions nationwide to receive the award and is the only four-year institution in Washington state to be honored last year.

The HEED Award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. This award was established by INSIGHT into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine in higher education.

“This award highlights the work our university has done in increasing the diversity of our Wildcat community,” CWU President Jim Wohlpart said. “It also reminds us to remain intentional about continuing to foster an inclusive and diverse environment across our campus.”

The annual HEED Awards measure an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment with 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.

CWU has seen a 9% increase in student diversity since 2016, increasing the number of students coming from traditionally underrepresented communities from 31% to 40%. These numbers continue to trend upward, with 43% of first-year students and 45% of transfer students also coming from traditionally underrepresented communities. 

“Central continues to show that we are a place that people from any social, ethnic, or economic background can call home,” said Vice President of Inclusivity and Diversity Kandee Cleary. “The faculty and staff here continue to meet the needs of our students by producing programs and initiatives that support students from all communities.”

Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1484.