Skip to content

SIUE receives 2023 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

Shown is the November/December cover of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. (Courtesy SIUE)

For the 10th year in a row, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville received the 2023 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—SIUE is featured, along with 108 other recipients, in the November/December 2023 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“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 — leadership support for diversity, campus culture and climate, supplier diversity, and many 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.”

“While SIUE received the HEED Award recognition for our overall efforts to actualize inclusive excellence, among the areas highlighted in this year’s application was the university’s commitment to proactively closing equity gaps in student outcomes,” said Jessica Harris, Ph.D., vice chancellor for Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI). “For example, the expansion of FAME, GAME, and SOAR over the past year has increased our institutional capacity to facilitate academic success and promote belonging for a greater number of underrepresented students. The outcomes we have seen as a result of these changes are already quite promising. The first-to-second year retention rate for the African American students who enrolled at SIUE in Fall 2022 was 10.2 percentage points higher than the Fall 2021 cohort; and the first-to-second year retention rate for Latinx students increased by 3.7 percentage points.

“I am very proud of these and other accomplishments over the last year, especially in the areas of retention and student success,” Harris added. “However, we can’t get complacent. We must continue to evolve our ADEI strategies and commit to continuous improvement. It is my hope that next year, SIUE will earn the HEED Award’s Diversity Champion designation.” 

According to INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, a limited number of colleges and universities across the nation have been selected for this honor. Known for visionary leadership, Diversity Champions are institutions that set the standard for thousands of other campus communities striving for diversity and inclusion. They develop successful strategies and programs, which then serve as models of excellence for other institutions.

“As I look ahead, I want SIUE to be a national model. Earning the HEED Award recognition, particularly for the 10th year in a row, is a clear sign that we are definitely headed in the right direction,” Harris said.

For more information about the 2023 HEED Award, visit

About INSIGHT Into Diversity 

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the leader in advancing best practices in DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in higher education. Through thought-provoking print and online articles, we share expert advice, valuable resources, in-depth profiles of top DEI programs at colleges and universities, headline news, and much more to help keep our readers informed and empower them to advance DEI initiatives at their institutions.  To further our mission, we created the INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award in 2012. The HEED Award — including the more targeted INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions, Law School, and Community College HEED Awards — is the only national honor to recognize institutions of higher education for their outstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at

Leave a Comment