SUNY Honored With 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

October 16, 2018

Albany – The State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today announced that SUNY System Administration has – for the seventh consecutive year – received the 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

University at Albany, Buffalo State College, SUNY Old Westbury, and Stony Brook University were also among the U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

"SUNY is the largest comprehensive public system of higher education in the country, with a steadfast commitment to ensure more New Yorkers have the opportunity to earn a high quality, affordable education," said Chancellor Johnson. "Our foundational values and policy of diversity, equity, and inclusion is at the core of our mission to provide a welcoming and encouraging environment that most reflects the society we live in and the changing demographics of New York State. I am proud of the work our team has done to set the standard within higher education."

"For the seventh year in a row we have received the annual HEED award, a prestigious honor that calls attention to how much importance SUNY System places on diversity, equity, and inclusion," said Carlos N. Medina, Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer. "We are dedicated to furthering this work of engaging with our campuses through task forces, policies, and initiatives, but we also must applaud the commitment of our campus leaders operating on the ground level, for without their devotion to bettering our campus cultures, this honor would not be possible."

"Diversity – in our people and our ideas – drives everything that we do at UAlbany," University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez said. "We are committed to creating a campus climate where everyone feels welcome and is welcome, and so it is rewarding to see our efforts recognized nationally."

"At Buffalo State, we not only recognize the many facets of diversity we also celebrate them on a regular basis," said Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner. "Receiving the HEED award confirms what we already know—that Buffalo State is committed to being a place of inclusion, tolerance, and open-mindedness for our students, our faculty, and our staff. From thought-provoking film and discussion series to student-focused workshops, Buffalo State offers a number of exciting and unique initiatives that promote a diverse campus environment."

"As it has since its founding, SUNY Old Westbury seeks to serve a diverse and dynamic student body that reflects the world we live in," said College President Calvin O. Butts, III. "Through our academic programs and co-curricular activities, our campus seeks to cultivate critical thinking, empathy, creativity and intercultural understanding as we endeavor to stimulate in students a passion for learning and a commitment to building a more just and sustainable world. We are proud to have earned the HEED Award and be among institutions that share our commitment to celebrating the diverse world we all share."

"It is gratifying to be recognized for our efforts to impact diversity across Stony Brook University’s students, faculty and staff," Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said. "We have been working diligently to improve the diversity of the Stony Brook community through enhanced recruitment and retention, through new grants, expanding educational research, healthcare and other strategic initiatives to ensure all our students have the resources they need to thrive."

"Diversity – in our people and our ideas – drives everything that we do at UAlbany," University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez said. "We are committed to creating a campus climate where everyone feels welcome and is welcome, and so it is rewarding to see our efforts recognized nationally."

"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 — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion," said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. "Our standards are high, as we take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient."

About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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