University of Vermont

University Communications

UVM Receives Award from Leading Higher Ed Diversity Publication

Executive leadership team in the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (l to r): Wanda Heading-Grant, vice president; Sherwood Smith, senior executive director of diversity, engagement and professional development; Lacretia J Flash, senior advisor/chief of staff; Jes Kraus, executive director of human resource services and affirmative action; and Harold Pierce, executive director of benefit and employee operations. Also pictured is Lynn Budnik, advising and recruitment manager.

The University of Vermont has received the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. UVM’s diversity initiatives are led by Wanda Heading-Grant, vice president of the Office of Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

The HEED Award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is the third consecutive year UVM has been named as a HEED Award recipient.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. It selected UVM based on the university’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives and its ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on its campus.

“I am thrilled that we have been selected as a university that demonstrates commitment to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus,” said Dr. Heading Grant. “This recognition is an honor that should not be taken lightly. To achieve this award for the third year in a row required persistence, hard work, accountability, and dedicated leadership, such as that demonstrated by University of Vermont president Tom Sullivan. It would not be possible for us to continue to make successful strides in matters of diversity and inclusion without the many committed partnerships present on campus and the dedication of the UVM community as a whole. ”

“This recognition is so important to the university and to the President’s Commission for Inclusive Excellence,” said Lacretia Flash, senior advisor and chief of staff in the Division of Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. “As we begin a new school year and look to engage the UVM community with the implementation of the Framework for Inclusive Excellence, I feel energized to work with colleagues who are driven to ensure that we, as an institution, are held accountable to our principles.”

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.

“We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “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.