CWU News

CWU Top of Class for Diverse Organizational Impact and Transformation

Central Washington University is showcased in the September edition of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine as a leader and an example of best practices in institutional representation/composition. 

CWU was among five educational institutions nationwide—the only one west of Texas—chosen to be featured this month for achieving at least a “B” grade on one of four Diverse Organizational Impact and Transformation (DOIT) pillars: (Institutional Leadership and Commitment; Institutional Curricular & Co-Curricular Accountability; Institutional Climate; and Institutional Representation/Composition). 

“We ultimately seek to recognize institutional efforts by learning what institutions are doing or not doing to transform everyday experiences for their students, faculty, and staff,” states Diverse’s website.

Kandee ClearyKandee Cleary, vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) at Central, emphasized how critical it was to begin embedding DEI into CWU’s framework. Among its initiatives, Cleary referenced CWU’s Employees of Color Equity Council that was formed in 2019 to foster a positive campus climate for employees of color.

“We have worked intentionally to recognize the challenges faced by underrepresented professionals,” Cleary says. “… initiatives remain in place, including a welcome at the beginning of each academic year to provide networking opportunities for faculty and staff of color.”

Central was also featured in the magazine’s July 2021 issue, with a “B” average in Cultivating Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Institutional Climates with Intentionality. The survey certifies an institution’s progress, specifically its performance regarding the plight of diversity professionals responsible for instilling and modeling transformative leadership.

“It is the duty of the larger CWU community to help create spaces where differences are valued and everyone feels like he, she, or they belong,” Cleary says.

About Central Washington University HEED logo
Central Washington University is located in Ellensburg, Washington, and is the most diverse higher education institution in the state. CWU has been honored with the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award by Insight into Diversity Magazine in seven of the last eight years.

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