Framingham State University Recognized with Award for Diversity and Inclusion

Framingham State University Recognized with Award for Diversity and Inclusion

Sep 17, 2018

FRAMINGHAM – Framingham State University has again been recognized for its efforts to support diversity and inclusion on campus with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

The award is given by INSIGHT into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education today. Framingham State will be featured along with 95 other recipients nationwide in the magazine’s November 2018 issue. This is the fourth time FSU has been honored with the award since 2014, more than any other public University in Massachusetts. It also comes less than a year after Framingham State was the target of some incidents of racist graffiti within its residence halls.

“This award demonstrates that the hateful actions of a few people cannot define our community,” says President F. Javier Cevallos. “The dialogue and self-reelection that has occurred on our campus over the past year has been inspiring and I’m proud of the comprehensive approach we have taken as we continually strive for excellence in institutional diversity and inclusion.”

Framingham State’s diversity and inclusion efforts are led by the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) under the direction of Millie Gonzalez. Recent achievements include the creation of the Mary Miles Bibb Teaching Fellowship program, designed to attract top quality faculty candidates. The Bibb fellowship is named after the first African-American teacher to graduate from Framingham State University. The Widening the Circle Faculty Institute was also created to assist with advancing Inclusive Excellence at Framingham State University through the focus area of Diversity in the Curriculum.

At the student level, several clubs are designed to engage students in diversity issues, including the Black Student Union (BSU); Brother2Brother, which is a support group aimed at addressing the low retention rates among men of color in college; and M.I.S.S., which was established to support and inspire the educational, professional and social success of female students of color.

Framingham State seeks to engage the entire campus in discussions around diversity and inclusion through its Olivia A. Davison Voices of Color Lecture Series; Diversity Dialogues; and its new Courageous Conversations about Race series.

“It’s so important to keep an open and ongoing dialogue about these issues,” says Gonzalez. “We can learn so much from one another simply by engaging in these challenging conversations.”

The university has also launched several employee affinity groups in recent years, including: Faculty and Staff of Color; Faculty and Staff with Disabilities; Women Empowerment; Faculty and Staff with Small Children; and LGBTQ Faculty and Staff. Faculty are recognized and are encouraged to include diversity-related programming as service in tenure and promotion processes. DICE honors faculty who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion through the Beacon Award.

The HEED award is the only national recognition honoring colleges and universities that exhibit outstanding efforts and success in the area of diversity and inclusion throughout their campuses.

“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 — continued leadership support for diversity, and 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 accomplished every day across their campus.”

For more information about the 2018 HEED award, visit

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.