University, Gordon recognized nationally for diversity commitment

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Minority Access Inc. named Myra Gordon, K-State associate provost for the office of diversity, as a National Role Model for 2014. (Photo: K-State Alumni Association)

Kansas State University and its faculty are being honored with three national awards for commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The university has received a 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, award, from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Minority Access Inc. also has designated the university as an institution committed to diversity and has named Myra Gordon, associate provost for the office of diversity, as a National Role Model for 2014.

"We are thrilled with the recent recognition because it shows that diversity is a value that we continue to embrace as an institution," said President Kirk Schulz. "Diversity is essential to education and is a crucial element of the K-State 2025 plan. As we strive to become a Top 50 public research university by 2025, we will continue to improve the services that we offer to diverse audiences."

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine gives the HEED award annually to recognize U.S. colleges and institutions that are committed to diversity and inclusion. Kansas State University was one of 83 colleges chosen nationally this year and the only higher education institution in Kansas to receive the designation this year.

Universities are chosen for the HEED award based on their diversity initiatives and their inclusion of all aspects of diversity: gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.

Minority Access Inc.'s designation as an institution committed to diversity recognizes colleges and institutions that stress that diversity is essential to providing a good education.

The National Role Models Project honors students, faculty, alumni, innovators and diversity institutions as role models for improving the numbers of minority scientists, researchers and professionals in fields underrepresented by minorities.


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"It is quite special to be recognized as a National Role Model, and I am grateful to those who nominated me and supported the nomination," Gordon said. "Those who know me best know that I have spent my entire adult and professional life creating opportunities for and uplifting others, following in the footsteps of parents and pastors who were very active in the Civil Rights Movement. To be sure, the university award belongs to every single person who has tried to advance diversity at K-State in any way in the last 12 years. For me, however, the most important reward is reflected in the increased life chances and successes of the countless people I have had the privilege to help over the decades."

The three recent awards follow on the 2012 Higher Learning Commission accreditation report, which cited immense progress in diversifying Kansas State University, evidenced by the increasing number of students from underrepresented groups. The report also noted the university's deep commitment to the success of these students.

"We have made significant progress in supporting a diverse university," Provost April Mason said. "As evidence, our fall 2014 enrollment numbers show that our student body is the university's most diverse ever. We commend the efforts of Myra Gordon and our diversity office in continuing to promote diversity at Kansas State University."

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