Ball State University Earns National Award for Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

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By: Melissa Kraman—

Muncie,IN — For the fourth consecutive year, Ball State University has received a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education.

Earned through a vigorous application process, the HEED Award recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. As a recipient, Ball State University will be featured in INSIGHT Into Diversity’s November 2019 issue, alongside 92 other institutions.

Dr. Marsha McGriff, Ball State’s associate vice president for inclusive excellence, says the award reflects how the University fosters an environment where students, faculty, and staff feel embraced and supported in meaningful and impactful ways.

“I’m incredibly honored to work at an institution that places inclusive excellence and diversity and inclusion as a priority,” she said. “We believe inclusion must be infused in every step we take.”

In fact, inclusiveness is one of Ball State’s enduring values, she said, and Institutional and Inclusive Excellence is one of the University’s five ambitious goals in its strategic plan, “Destination 2040: Our Flight Path.”

Ball State’s strategic, inclusive approach to its academic, business, and service functions includes:

  • Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns formed the President’s Advisory Council for Inclusive Excellence (PACIE) to continue discussing and evolving inclusion infrastructure on campus.
  • The campus will conduct a climate and employee satisfaction/wellness survey this academic year.
  • Dr. Susana Rivera-Mills, Ball State’s provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, asked all of the academic areas to review and refine their policies and practices as they relate to diversity and inclusion. Every college has begun efforts to develop plans that support the values of equity, inclusive excellence, and civility.
  • The 2019 freshman class is the most diverse in Ball State’s 101-year history.
  • A new multi-million dollar Multicultural Center will break ground on Saturday, October 19th.

“Ball State is an exemplar in the higher education community, and we are being recognized as a University that is not just talking about diversity and inclusion. We are making strides daily toward building the best and most inclusive campus community for everyone.” McGriff said.

Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity, says its standards are high, and that only the universities with diversity and inclusion efforts woven into everyday campus life are awarded.

For more information about the 2019 HEED Award, visit


About Ball State

Founded in 1918 and located in Muncie, Ball State University is one of Indiana’s premier universities and an economic driver for the state. Ball State’s 22,500 students come from all over Indiana, the nation, and the world. The 790-acre campus is large enough to accommodate first-rate facilities and 19 NCAA Division I sports, but our welcoming and inclusive campus is small enough to ensure the friendliness, personal attention, and access that are the hallmarks of the University. Destination 2040: Our Flight Path establishes Ball State’s ambitious goals for our second century. We Fly!

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