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Ross School of Business Receives National Honor for Diversity and Inclusion

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INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has awarded the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business a top national honor for its efforts to ensure that diversity and inclusion are infused into all its activities, the business school announced today.

One of 91 recipients of the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, Ross is the only business school to make the list, according to Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of the St. Louis-based magazine. INSIGHT Into Diversity annually recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion following a comprehensive application process, and Ross is the first business school to ever receive the honor, Pearlstein says.

INSIGHT Into Diversity recognized Ross for the variety of student-led groups and conferences it hosts supporting and encouraging diversity—among them the Michigan Business Women graduate student club, the Ross Black Business Student Association, Out for Business and the Ross Armed Forces Association. It also noted the school’s creation of an Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which launched in September 2013 and has led to the development of a school-wide diversity-focused strategic plan.

In a press release announcing the award, Ross also noted that it was one of the first institutions to join the Forté Foundation and the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, alliances committed to supporting the advancement of women and underrepresented students in MBA programs. And through its Center for Positive Organizations, Sanger Leadership Center and Center for Social Impact, the school also works to integrate diversity into its academic programs.

“In order to provide the highest quality business education to our Michigan Ross students, we must include and leverage the diverse perspectives of individuals from different cultures, world views, backgrounds and life experiences,” Ross Dean Alison Davis-Blake said in a statement. “As a business school, it is our responsibility to educate future leaders to recognize the value of diversity for its powerful impact on the bottom line as well as on creating a positive work culture,” she added, noting that a focus on diversity and inclusion will be a continuous priority.

Factors considered as part of the HEED Award application process include the recruitment and retention of students and employees, as well as leadership support for and other aspects of diversity and inclusion. “We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient,” Pearlstein said in a statement. “Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across a campus.”

Learn more about Ross’s 2015 HEED Award.