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Press Release for Thursday, September 1, 2016

UNF Receives National 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida received the 2016 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—UNF will be featured along with 82 other recipients in the magazine’s November issue. This is the second time UNF has been named a HEED recipient and is the only university in Northeast Florida to receive the award.

“The University is honored to be acknowledged for its excellent initiatives in the areas of diversity and inclusion,” said UNF President John Delaney. “UNF is dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the classroom and throughout the campus community.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected UNF based on its exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, which it continues to foster throughout all aspects of campus operations, programs, services and activities.

“Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus,” said Lenore Pearlstein, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine publisher.

A sign of the University’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion include the recent establishment of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives in the Division of Student Affairs, the opening of the Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations, strengthening of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion as well as memberships in the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education and the First Coast Diversity Council.

UNF regularly conducts programs representative of various faiths and beliefs, supports student veterans through its Military Veterans Resource Center and promotes student, faculty and staff accessibility in educational programs and in the workplace.

“A strong team effort is what contributes to the University’s ongoing diversity and inclusion initiatives in education and employment,” said Cheryl Gonzalez, chief diversity officer at UNF. “This is powerful given that our work is growing more entrenched in offices and institutes throughout our campus.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity is known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, which is the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Current, archived and digital issues of the magazine are available online at

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.