CWU News

CWU Again Honored for Excellent Achievements in Diversity

Central Washington University was the only four-year institution in Washington to receive a 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

The award is the only national higher education diversity honor. CWU was one of only 92 college and universities in the U.S. recognized for having a sustained commitment to expand diversity and inclusion on their campuses.

The awards are made annually by INSIGHT Into Diversity, the nation’s largest and longest-running diversity-focused higher education magazine.

“Our goal is to be welcoming to everyone—students, faculty, and staff,” said Kandee Cleary, CWU’s chief diversity officer. “Receiving this recognition—again—will help us acknowledge and appreciate all that we continue to accomplish in terms of making our institution even more diverse and welcoming to students and staff alike.”

This is the second straight year that CWU has been named a HEED recipient. The award is based on initiatives, programs and outreach, student recruitment, retention and completion; along with faculty and staff hiring practices.

To determine the award winners, representatives of Potomac Publishing, which publishes INSIGHT Into Diversity, assess institutions regarding diversity and inclusion among its students, faculty, administration, staff, and suppliers. The assessments pertain to age, disability, gender and gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation and veteran status.

“We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity. “Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across a campus.”

Minority students now make up roughly 25 percent of CWU’s enrollment. Last year, CWU was also named one of the nation’s top 50 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-friendly universities.

CWU will be featured in the St. Louis-based publication’s November 2015 issue. Current and archived INSIGHT Into Diversity issues are available online.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,

September 15, 2015