BSU honored by MnSCU for outstanding diversity programming

BEMIDJI, Minn. (June 7, 2011) — Bemidji State University was named as one of seven colleges and universities within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system being honored for outstanding achievements in diversity.

Bemidji State was one of two winners of the system’s “Best Practices in Diversity Award,” recognizing programs and practices that improve access and retention of diverse campus community members, winning second place for its American Indian Resource Center. St. Cloud State University won first place in the category for its Power in Diversity Leadership Conference. Winona State received an honorable mention for its Academic Progress Reporting System.

The awards acknowledge programs and services that support access and success in higher education for all Minnesotans, especially those from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education, such as students of color, low-income students or students who are the first in their families to attend college.

The winners were selected by a panel of academic and student affairs administrators from various campuses after being nominated by presidents and other college and university leaders for work in 2010-2011. The Diversity and Multiculturalism awards were presented May 25 at Inver Hills Community College.

Other colleges and universities that were honored included Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Century College, North Hennepin Community College and Metropolitan State University.

“We celebrate the creative and committed individuals who have demonstrated outstanding diversity work in serving our students,” said Board of Trustees Chair Scott Thiss. “By standing for excellence, they help fulfill the board’s vision for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, which is to enable the people of Minnesota to succeed by providing the most accessible, highest value education in the nation.”

“Many of the students served by the award-winning programs and activities did not start their educational quest on a level playing field,” said Whitney Harris, the system’s executive director of diversity and multiculturalism. “Each project helps level the playing field for these students and helps achieve equal opportunity in higher education.”

A complete list of award categories and winners is available at the system’s website:

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 277,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 157,000 students in noncredit courses.