University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business Receives Top Honor for Excellence in Diversity


Michigan Ross is the only business school to receive prestigious 2015 HEED Award from INSIGHT into Diversity magazine

The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — Michigan Ross will be featured in the November 2015 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine 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.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Michigan Ross specifically in recognition of the school’s efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion are infused in all of the school’s activities. Ross’ focus on striving for inclusive excellence is evident on the school’s website, which welcomes virtual visitors to the Michigan Ross community. The school hosts a variety of student-led groups and conferences that support and encourage diversity. Michigan Ross created the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which has led to the development of a schoolwide strategic plan focused on diversity. And this fall, Ross launched a new Identity and Diversity in Organizations milestone requirement for undergraduates 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 Alison Davis-Blake, dean of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “Having a diverse community and workforce 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.”

Historically, Michigan Ross 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. Ross consistently welcomes the largest group of students among all of the schools that participate in the Consortium.

Through courses and engaged learning opportunities such as in the Center for Positive Organizations, the Sanger Leadership Center, and the 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 (MLT), a premier 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 — which also offers a club for undergraduates — is one of the largest student groups at Ross, hosting the prominent Women In Leadership Conference each fall, while the equally active 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. We take a holistic 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 a campus,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Visit to learn more about Michigan Ross. Visit to learn more about the 2015 HEED award and to see the complete list of award winners.


About Michigan Ross
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.

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