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UNF Receives 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

The University of North Florida has been awarded the 2020 UNF LogoHigher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This is the sixth year that UNF has been recognized for this diversity award. 

The annual HEED award is a national honor that recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“The University is very honored to receive this important recognition that highlights our ongoing commitment to having a diverse, welcoming and inclusive campus environment for our students, faculty and staff,” said UNF President David Szymanski. “We will continue to develop and implement diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout all of our campus community.”

The University has a steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusiveness in its campus operations, programs and services.

Alumna Whitney Meyer was recently appointed as the University’s Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, to identify opportunities for greater alignment and more unified diversity efforts across campus. She advises University leadership on diversity, inclusion and racial equality pertaining to strategies and policies, learning and research, community relations and the recruitment, retention and admission of faculty, staff and students of color.

Meyer also manages key programs aimed at promoting diversity, which include the Community Alliance for Student Success (CASS) program and the Fearless Woman initiative.

The CASS program aims to ensure that underrepresented students have opportunities to become successful business and community leaders and the Fearless Woman initiative strives to empower and prepare UNF’s next generation of women leaders. Both the CASS and Fearless Woman programs bring traditionally separated groups of people together to promote a shared sense of community for UNF.

In addition, the University’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, Department of Diversity Initiatives, LGBT Resource Center and OneJax, all work together and with diversity and inclusion liaisons to support inclusive excellence on campus.

UNF will be featured along with the other recipients in the magazine’s November issue. More information on UNF’s Department of Diversity Initiatives can be found at