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Highline College president receives national award

Jack Bermingham, president of Highline College. - Contributed photo
Jack Bermingham, president of Highline College.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Jack Bermingham, president of Highline College, was selected as a recipient of the Diversity Visionary Award from Insight into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
“He is truly an inspiration to all of us who are working so diligently to make a difference in the lives of all underrepresented individuals,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight into Diversity.
Bermingham is profiled along with three other recipients in the magazine’s July/August 2014 issue. This is the first time that Insight into Diversity has given this award. The Diversity Visionary Award honors individuals who have made significant contributions and exhibited vision, dedication and a long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion in higher education.
“A commitment to diversity, inclusion and social justice is at the heart of everything Dr. Bermingham does daily in leading Highline,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Lisa Skari.
Bermingham came to Highline in 1994 as the academic vice president. Soon after he established a task force that recommended a new general education requirement for Highline, at a time when only 25 percent of the college were students of color and only 5 percent of the full-time teaching staff were faculty of color. He supported the Faculty Senate in the creation of a Diversity and Globalism requirement and the Instruction Cabinet in initiating a Diversity and Globalism department.
Bringing diversity and globalism into the academic structure of the college provided an impetus to hire diverse faculty that contributed to expanded curriculum and supported the growing number of students of color. Today, Highline is the most diverse educational institution in Washington state.
Diversity is one of the college’s core themes and its current success was validated when Highline won the Twenty-First Century Colleges’ National Award of Excellence for Advancing Diversity in 2014 from the American Association of Community Colleges.
Bermingham has served as president since 2006.

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