SUNY System, Buffalo State College Receive National Award For Excellence In Diversity & Inclusion

September 12, 2016

Albany – State University of New York Chairman H. Carl McCall and Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that SUNY System Administration has – for the fifth year in a row – received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The 2016 award recognizes 83 U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, including SUNY Buffalo State College.

More information about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at SUNY is available online, in the form of a Data Brief recently presented to the SUNY Board of Trustees, one year after its implementation of a new system-wide policy for SUNY and its campuses. Read the full Data Brief here.

"The State University of New York aspires to be the most inclusive system of higher education in the country, and we are achieving that goal through the recent implementation of a new diversity policy championed by Governor Cuomo, the SUNY Board of Trustees, Chancellor Zimpher, and each our 64 campus presidents," said Chairman McCall. "We could not be more pleased to receive this prestigious recognition from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for the fifth consecutive year."

"SUNY was founded in 1948 on the principles of equity and inclusion, and we are deeply proud to remain commitment to those important ideals," said Chancellor Zimpher. "This award is shared with every SUNY campus, where leadership, faculty, and staff are working diligently to better serve every student from every ethnicity. Congratulations to all of our campuses on this much-deserved honor."

"SUNY is working tirelessly to ensure that at every SUNY campus, and at our central office in Albany, all who come to learn, work and visit know that they are welcome and that their viewpoints will be respected," said Alexander N. Cartwright, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. "Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy is guiding our work and rightly sets the highest standards."

"The current context for diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education has become a central focus," said SUNY Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer Carlos N. Medina. "For SUNY System Administration to be recognized each year since the inception of the HEED award is both incredible and humbling. It speaks to our commitment to our students, faculty, and staff across the University in this critically important area. We continue to strive to become the most inclusive system of higher education in the nation."

SUNY Buffalo State College also received the award.

"This is an institutional commitment. Our efforts to address diversity at Buffalo State are thoughtful and supported by campus constituents across our academic departments and the division of student affairs as well as community partners," said Karen A. Clinton Jones, Buffalo State’s chief diversity officer and director of the Equity and Campus Diversity Office. "We work in conjunction with many entities to ensure that our campus is welcoming, diverse, and inclusive. Buffalo State not only recruits students representative of diverse backgrounds, we continue to work toward increasing the diversity among our employees. We have a campus community—faculty, staff, and students alike—who view our diversity as a strength."

About INSIGHT Into Diversity
INSIGHT Into Diversity, celebrating its 40th year in 2014, is the largest and oldest diversity publication in higher education today. Known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, this is the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across campuses. 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 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 2023, 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

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications