UNC Charlotte has received the 2023 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the second year in a row Charlotte has earned this national honor recognizing colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
“As an emerging top-tier research university and one of the most diverse universities in the Carolinas, UNC Charlotte is committed to creating a place where people of all backgrounds can thrive and succeed,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “We are proud to receive the HEED award again this year in recognition of our efforts.”
Long known for expanding access to deserving students from a variety of backgrounds, UNC Charlotte’s accomplishments, programs and partnerships contributing to the 2023 HEED Award include:
- Innovative student engagement programs through corporate partnerships. This includes the Career & Collaboration Hub, powered by Truist Financial
- Implementation of NINERways, a math-based QEP to assure students succeed in fulfilling math requirements
- Transformative endowment of up to $23 million from the Mebane Foundation to support early literacy training and research
- Creation of the Center for Integrated Care, a one-stop shop for referral and linkage to well-being resources both on and off campus
- Reshaping institutional inclusive excellence grants to reflect the framework shaped by the American Association of Colleges and Universities for organizing equity, diversity, belonging and student success efforts in higher education. The first proposals were selected under the new process in summer 2022
- Faculty Council’s approval in April of a resolution endorsing the Chicago Statement, a declaration of commitment to free speech. Later that month, Charlotte’s Board of Trustees passed its own resolution commending the faculty for its efforts and affirming the Board's commitment to the Chicago Statement
- The development of an interactive religious and observances calendar
“At UNC Charlotte, we are intentionally striving to be a place where all can thrive,” said Brandon Wolfe, chief diversity officer. “Our success highlights Niner Nation’s shared willingness to continuously center diversity, equity and inclusion as a guiding commitment in our communication, relationships, structures and practices.”
Charlotte is one of three UNC System institutions to receive the 2023 award, joining East Carolina University and UNC Greensboro, and will be featured in the November/December issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
According to Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the HEED Award process includes a comprehensive application with questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees, continued leadership support for diversity and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion.
This is just one recent accolade to illustrate UNC Charlotte’s success helping students of all backgrounds succeed. Charlotte is ranked as a “Top Performer for Social Mobility” by U.S. News & World Report and included in the publication’s rankings for best value colleges and best colleges for veterans for 2024.
This fall, Charlotte reported its most diverse student body in history, with its largest enrollment for African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American and international students. Charlotte is No. 1 in North Carolina for enrollment and for bachelor’s degrees for Hispanic/Latinx students. Undergraduate enrollment for Hispanic/Latinx students is up 122% over the past decade. In addition, 33% of all of Charlotte’s undergraduate students identify as first-generation or the first in their families to attend college.