Ross School receives national award for diversity, inclusion efforts


The Stephen M. Ross School of Business has received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award in recognition of its efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion are infused in all of the school’s activities.

The HEED award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The Ross School will be featured in the November 2015 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity along with 91 other recipients. The magazine recognized Michigan Ross for successful efforts to create a diverse, collaborative and inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff including:

• Ross’ focus on striving for inclusive excellence is evident on the school’s website.

• The school also hosts a variety of student-led groups and conferences that support and encourage diversity.

• It created the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which has led to the development of a schoolwide strategic plan focused on diversity.

• Ross launched a new Identity and Diversity and Organizations milestone requirement for undergraduates this fall that equips students with the skills to be self-aware and work effectively on diverse teams while promoting a positive organizational culture.  

“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,” said Ross School Dean Alison Davis-Blake.

“Having a diverse community and work force is vital for strong organizational performance and essential to foster innovation, broad perspectives that recognize new opportunities and the development of the best ideas.

“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. While we celebrate the 2015 HEED award as an honor, our focus on diversity and inclusion will be a continuous priority and ongoing effort for our school.”

The Ross School has been a pioneer in promoting a culture of inclusion on campus and in the surrounding community. Ross was one of the first institutions to join the Forté Foundation and the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, alliances of business schools furthering the advancement of women and underrepresented students in MBA programs, where the school continues to lead today.

Through courses and engaged learning opportunities such as in the Center for Positive Organizations, Sanger Leadership Center, Center for Social Impact’s U-M Social Impact Challenge and throughout the curriculum, Ross has a demonstrated history of integrating diversity in its academic programs.

Ross is a partner with Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a career development institution that equips high-potential students of color with the skills, coaching and door-opening relationships to unlock their potential.

Ross hosts more than 70 student clubs and organizations, many of them focusing on the specific interests of students with diverse backgrounds, where students can connect to share interests and passions.

 For example, the Michigan Business Women graduate student club hosts the Women In Leadership Conference each fall, while the Ross Black Business Student Association hosts the annual Alfred L. Edwards Conference.

 Additionally, Out for Business builds a strong sense of community among LGBT students and allies at Ross, while the Armed Forces Association advances the role of veterans in business. And more than a dozen of Ross’ student organizations are focused on different countries or regions around the world, such as Africa, Asia, India and Latin America.

 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 — along with continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion, said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of the St. Louis-based INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient,” Pearlstein said. “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.”


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