Posted October 11, 2023

Temple University wins prestigious 2023 HEED Award

The HEED Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine recognizes Temple’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

Two Temple students sitting on a couch laughing.
Temple students Bilen Dereje and Nyla Campbell interact while visiting Temple University's  Office of  Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership (IDEAL).

Temple University has earned the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for the second consecutive year. The award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

As a recipient of the 2023 HEED Award, Temple will be featured in the November/December issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.  

“It is significant because it evaluates the institution’s performance against our peers in key areas,” said Valerie Harrison, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. 

“This is a testament to the efforts of the schools, colleges and many administrative offices within Temple. It is a recognition of our collective efforts.” 

Temple is one of 109 colleges and universities around the country and one of two in Philadelphia that received this prestigious distinction. 

“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, leadership support for diversity, campus culture and climate, supplier diversity, and many other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed 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 done every day across their campus.” 

During the extensive review process, Temple was evaluated for how it recruits historically underrepresented and first-generation students, its retention and graduation rates for underrepresented students, recruitment of diverse faculty and staff, and how the university addresses racism and bigotry.  

“This is one the most prestigious diversity awards that a university can be given, so we are very excited that we won this for a second year,” said Rosa Parks-Green, director of coordinated DEI strategies and initiatives who worked extensively with university stakeholders on compiling information for the HEED Award’s application process. 

After submitting materials when applying in 2022 for the first time, Temple received feedback from INSIGHT Into Diversity representatives on aspects that could be improved. 

This is one the most prestigious diversity awards that a university can be given, so we are very excited that we won this for a second year.
-- Rosa Parks-Green

“We took that information and we worked hard to make changes in our practices throughout the university,” Parks-Green said. “One of the big things that we did this year, which was different from when we won last year, is we made it mandatory that all search committees go through implicit bias diversity training.” 

The university has made other significant achievements in diversity such as opening the Center for Anti-Racism in November 2022 as a hub for intervention and research and welcoming the most diverse group of new students in Temple history this year. More than 56% of the new class are students of color, which marks a 5.6% increase from last year. 

Tiffenia Archie, associate vice president and chief inclusion officer, appreciates how Temple’s DEI initiatives have evolved throughout the years. 

“I’ve been here since 2007 and it’s been great over the course of my time here to just see the work expand all across the campus,” Archie said. “Everyone at the university feels like it’s their responsibility and I appreciate that. It’s not just one person or one department. We received the HEED Award for the work the entire university is doing and that is super exciting.”