Sept. 14, 2016 – The University of Houston Law Center was acknowledged for its numerous diversity and inclusion efforts at a reception Monday at the Elizabeth Rockwell Pavilion in the M.D. Anderson Library.
The Law Center, the University of Houston, and the UH School of Nursing were recipients of INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine's 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. It is the only national accolade that recognizes institutions for their efforts on behalf of diversity. INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
"We are the first university to receive three HEED awards in a single year," said Paula Myrick Short, UH senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. "We are absolutely thrilled at that recognition. It exemplifies UH's focus and intent to be a very diverse and inclusive university."
University of Houston President and System Chancellor Dr. Renu Khator said the recognition speaks volumes for UH and the Law Center.
"We are the prototype of institutions for the future," Khator said. "What other universities will look like in 25 years, UH looks like today. We are the kind of institution that has an obligation to prove to the country that we truly can put diversity and excellence in one category."
The awards were presented by Lenore Pearlstein, the publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine.
"Campus diversity and inclusion cannot happen without leadership support," said Pearlstein. "It is obvious that Dr. Khator, Dr. Short and both Law Center Dean Leonard Baynes and UH Nursing School Dean Kathryn Tart know the value that diversity and inclusion bring to the UH campus. Each has played an integral role in assuring they continually drive this important message home to everyone within their school."
The Law Center was selected for its numerous diversity initiatives, including its Pre-Law Pipeline Program. The program, which recently completed its second year, is designed to prepare undergraduate students who are first generation, low income, or members of groups underrepresented in the legal profession for a career in law.
The eight-week, dual track summer program is held at the Law Center and provides students the necessary resources to meet the demands of the LSAT exam, the law school application process, and their future law school career.
Other initiatives considered for UHLC's award include the Juvenile & Capital Advocacy Project (JCAP), a community-based program designed to reduce juvenile crime and delinquency in an effort to improve the long-term educational success rates of socially and economically disadvantaged juveniles.
UHLC's diversity and equality focused education programs, nationally recognized specialty programs, Continuing Legal Education sessions, speaker selections, and community service projects as well as the multitude of student organizations reflecting the diverse student body, highlight the Law Center's intense commitment to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus and in the surrounding community.