SUNY Receives National Recognition for its Longstanding Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

September 8, 2017

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today announced that SUNY System Administration has – for the sixth consecutive year – received the 2017 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

SUNY Buffalo State and SUNY Oneonta were also among the U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

"We have a responsibility to our students, but also to ourselves – the leaders, faculty, and staff of SUNY – to build on our diversity within our walls and provide a safe and welcoming environment where we can all thrive," said Chancellor Johnson. "Everyone deserves a chance to pursue their goals, and I am honored to continue to lead and build on our founding principles and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy."

"Receiving the HEED award for the sixth year in a row – the first for a higher education system office – is an outstanding accomplishment," said Carlos N. Medina, Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer. "It recognizes our early work and implementation of our sweeping Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy, as well as our ongoing efforts to strengthen our support of all our students, faculty, and staff."

"As a campus, we have a long-standing history demonstrating our commitment toward supporting an inclusive environment where employees and students alike can be authentic," said Karen A. Clinton Jones, SUNY Buffalo State’s chief diversity officer and director of the Equity and Campus Diversity Office. "Buffalo State not only recruits students who are representative of diverse backgrounds, we continue to work toward increasing the diversity among our employees, particularly our tenure track faculty. We have a campus community – faculty, staff, and students alike – who view our diversity as a strength."

"One of SUNY Oneonta’s enduring values is inclusive excellence, the belief that all students, faculty, and staff bring assets to the campus because of, not despite, our differences," said SUNY Oneonta President Dr. Nancy Kleniewski. "Many individuals and groups are working together to help increase the level of diversity on our campus and to ensure that the interactions we have with each other are constructive."

"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. "We take a holistic 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 accomplished every day across their campus."

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 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 state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 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 2021, 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 opportunity, visit

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