Over the past several years WPI has been on a mission to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion into every aspect of the university experience, inside and outside the classroom. Through initiatives large and small, the university has developed standards and set expectations for a campus environment that is accepting and welcoming to all. The work is now being recognized on the national level: WPI was recently named a recipient of the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, which honors U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. It is awarded by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
“The HEED Award celebrates our continued efforts to be a place where all can belong and thrive,” said Michelle Jones-Johnson,
Vice President for Talent & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. “The award recognizes WPI’s collective efforts to look critically at our culture, realize that there is still much more work to do, and doubling down on our commitment to creating meaningful and sustainable inclusive excellence.”
“It was important for me to honor the efforts of those in our community whose work focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion while creating a strategic approach to elevating our institutional commitment in this area,” said Jones-Johnson.
Since 2016, WPI’s efforts have been guided by Project Inclusion, a three-year self-assessment that established definitions and developed recommendations around diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. Led by Jones-Johnson and faculty co-chairs Peter Hansen (Year 1) and Emily Douglas (Year 2), the Project Inclusion Steering Committees created data-driven recommendations as the framework for each division to develop implementation plans to align the university’s work going forward. WPI.EDU September 1, 2020