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University of Maryland Continues to Make Strides as National Leader in Diversity and Inclusion

September 15, 2015
Contacts: 

Kristen Seabolt 301-405-4621

UMD Recognized Nationally with INSIGHT Into Diversity 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland continues to be a higher education leader in the areas of diversity and inclusion, most recently being recognized with a national award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. 

“The University of Maryland is committed to inclusive excellence, and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts and initiatives across the campus that promote diversity and inclusion,” said Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D., Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President at the University of Maryland. “The university has long promoted equity and diversity as core values and we recognize that a diverse, just and inclusive educational community is one of our greatest strengths.”

The University of Maryland is known as a national leader in closing the achievement gap. Over the past four years, the graduation gap between UMD's undergraduate student body and Hispanic, African-American/Black, and low-income students has decreased. UMD's six-year graduation rate for all students is 84.6 percent, and the university boasts one of the highest graduation rates in the nation for underrepresented minorities: 77.4 percent for African-American students and 79.9 percent for Hispanic students. 

Nearly one fourth of UMD's undergraduates are underrepresented ethnic minorities—one of the highest rates nationally among research universities – and for the past three years, 40 percent or more of freshman classes have identified themselves as students of color. This year, UMD is on track to get even closer to a majority-minority freshman class at 44 percent.

“Diversity helps every student on campus,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “In this global economy, our graduates will be expected to collaborate on the job as part of diverse teams. We open doors and minds on campus.”

UMD has more than two-dozen programs and initiatives designed to support underrepresented student and faculty success, to foster the development of cultural competence in students, staff and faculty, and to create an institutional culture of inclusion. UMD is in its sixth year of the ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence, which supports the retention and advancement of women and underrepresented minority faculty. 

Over four years, the UMD Office of Diversity & Inclusion has funded 40 grants of up to $15,000 through its Moving Maryland Forward program, which supports pilot projects that advance one or more goals in the Strategic Plan for Diversity. The Office of Diversity & Inclusion sponsors an annual "Rise Above 'Isms'" Week to engage the campus community in addressing and transcending stereotypes and structural 'isms'.  "Rise Above" mini-grants of up to $750 support community members in meaningful dialogue around issues of identity, bias and difference. Since the program's launch in 2013, 21 grants have been funded.

In addition, for the fourth year in a row, Campus Pride has recently named UMD a Top 25 LGBT-Friendly Campus.

UMD is one of only 92 universities across the country to receive the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The HEED Award measures an institution’s level of achievement and commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff. UMD will be featured in the November 2015 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. For more information about the 2015 HEED Award, visit www.insightintodiversity.com

For additional information about UMD’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion, visit http://www.diversity.umd.edu/