Past Award Recipients

The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) is seeking nominations for the 2021 Inclusive Excellence Awards. The awards recognize and honor individuals and/or institutions for exemplary achievements and contributions to lead higher education towards inclusive excellence and institutional transformation through the study of diversity by means of research, leadership, or service. As the preeminent voice for Chief and Senior Diversity Officers and practitioners, NADOHE is delighted to offer these unprecedented opportunities to acknowledge and reward innovation in inclusive excellence. NADOHE's goal is to encourage fellow professional individuals and institutions to implement comprehensive policies, practices, and initiatives designed to achieve inclusive excellence, and increase the profile of innovative inclusive excellence practices within colleges and universities.

NADOHE President Paulette Granberry Russell notes, “In 2021, we have an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of institutions and individuals who exemplify innovations in inclusive excellence. NADOHE encourages and supports those who engage in efforts to implement comprehensive polices, practices and initiatives designed to dismantle systemic and structural racism, and broader inequities. We are pleased to announce the 2021 Inclusive Excellence Awards, and invite nominations of individuals and institutions that have excelled in building and sustaining inclusive campus communities.”

Nominations must be received by Wednesday, February 3, 2021 via the online form.* Award recipients will be recognized during the 2021 NADOHE Virtual Annual Conference, March 9 - 12, 2021. Award categories include the Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr. Distinguished Service Award, Institutional Excellence Award, Individual Leadership Award, Rising Star Award and Outstanding Dissertation Award.


The Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr. Distinguished Service Award will be awarded to an individual who is distinguished in higher education, through a robust record of consistent service, for inclusive excellence; exercising innovative and courageous leadership; serving as a visionary in the field; and exemplifying the philosophy, principles, and practices of NADOHE; and contributing substantially to diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education. This award was named in memory of Dr. Frank W. Hale, former vice provost for minority affairs and professor at The Ohio State University. Dr. Hale, Jr., is remembered as a tireless crusader, of 54 years, for diversity in higher education and leaves behind a distinguished legacy in higher education. Membership in NADOHE is not required. Submission requirements include that in no more than 1,000 words, please explain why the nominee is deserving of the recognition for the designated award, including the specific criteria associated with the award category (as outlined in the award description). *

The Institutional Excellence Award recognizes the results of institutional leadership transformation. This award will be given to an institutional member that has demonstrated measurable progress in promoting and sustaining innovative diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within his/her campus community. These efforts may involve but are not limited to, institutional leadership, curricular reform, institutional transformation, professional development, assessment policies and practices, accountability measures, and outreach efforts. There are now FOUR categories for this award, however, an institution is only allowed to be nominated in a single category:

  • Two-Year (Associate Degree Granting Institution)
  • Four-Year Public (Bachelor's/Master's/Doctoral Degree Granting Institution)
  • Four-Year Private (Bachelor's/Master's/Doctoral Degree Granting Institution)
  • Professional Degree Granting Institution (Legal, Medical, Dental, etc.)

The nominated institution is required to be a current member in good standing of NADOHE. Submission requirements include that in no more than 1,000 words, the statement explains why the nominee is deserving of the recognition for the designated award, including the specific criteria associated with the award category (as outlined in the award description). *

The Individual Leadership Award will be presented to a NADOHE member for outstanding contributions to research, administration, practice, advocacy and/or policy, and whose work informs and advances the understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence in higher education for a minimum of ten years. The nominee is required to be a current member in good standing of NADOHE. Submission requirements include that in no more than 1,000 words, please explain why the nominee is deserving of the recognition for the designated award, including the specific criteria associated with the award category (as outlined in the award description). *


The Rising Star Award will be presented to a NADOHE member in good standing who has served as a Chief or Senior Diversity Officer for at least three years, but no more than ten total years at a higher educational institution. A nomination statement, limited to 1,000 words, must describe why the early career Chief or Senior Diversity Officer nominee is deserving of this award. The statement should identify how the nominee’s exceptional contributions to research, administration, practice, advocacy and/or policy informs and advances the understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence in higher education.*

The Outstanding Dissertation Award will recognize a completed dissertation, either quantitative or qualitative, that has contributed substantially to the literature and to the field of diversity and inclusion in higher education. The dissertation should serve as an exemplary model of research that not only informs, but also elevate the discourse. Research may include but is not limited to, campus diversity initiatives, curricular transformation, the impact of professional development, roles and responsibilities for chief diversity officers, influence of technology on diversity/equity, funding, and local and national policies and practices. A $500 monetary award will be granted to the recipient as well. Nominations for the outstanding dissertation award will entail a process, which includes a review of an abstract with an explanation about how the dissertation fits the award criteria, along with three letters of support (including the dissertation chair), followed by inviting finalists to submit a completed copy of the dissertation. Letters of support can be up to 1,000 words. The abstract should be approximately 300 words.* Selected nominees will be invited to submit their dissertations electronically. Membership in NADOHE is not required.

Eligibility for Nomination and Awards 
NADOHE membership is required for the Institutional Excellence and and the individual awards. Current NADOHE Board members and their institutions are not eligible for nomination. Former Board members are eligible for consideration two years after vacating their term on the Board.

*Failure to submit all required documentation and/or documentation exceeding the requirements will result in nominations being excluded for consideration.

About NADOHE - The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) serves as the preeminent voice for diversity officers in higher education. Its vision is to lead higher education towards inclusive excellence through institutional transformation. NADOHE currently has more than 800 institutional and individual members. For more information, contact [email protected]