Message from President Sands

Just over a year ago, we launched InclusiveVT with a public forum for all members of our campus community. On that day, we officially began a new phase in the process of building an inclusive and diverse campus with the goal of distinguishing Virginia Tech as an example of the modern land-grant research university. In designing InclusiveVT, we stressed unit-level initiative, transparency, accountability, and visible leadership at the highest levels of university administration. Now we have an opportunity to take a look back on how far we’ve come, and consider our future directions.

We’ve made good progress over the past year. This status report reflects a great deal of work by many individuals across our university community. I appreciate the efforts of everyone involved and would like to especially thank the Board of Visitors for reaffirming our Principles of Community and giving their unqualified support; the Presidents Inclusion and Diversity Executive Council; the Inclusion Coordinators; the Advisory Community; the Advisory Group of Caucus leaders and student representatives; the Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity; David Travis for serving as interim Vice Provost for Inclusion and Diversity; our senior leaders for developing 87 thoughtful initiatives; and Dean Karen DePauw for her analysis and recommendations.

If you’re new to our community and our inclusion and diversity initiative, this is a great place to begin. Read the status report and review the recommendations. Consider what InclusiveVT means to you. Dive deep and find something that touches your department, colleagues, coworkers and/or students. Find a way to be involved. It can be as simple as sharing a comment and becoming part of the conversation. We have events coming in the near future designed to inform and challenge our community, and I hope you participate.

As we enter the second year of this initiative, we will move purposely toward a university transformation. InclusiveVT will continue to evolve. We will complete the recruitment of a Vice Provost for Inclusion and Diversity. We will continue with our original updated initiatives. We will identify opportunities and practices that can have a high impact on inclusion. We will establish a process to financially support these initiatives. And we will do what we do best – innovate, by trying new things and taking some risks. This journey is important to all of us, and I appreciate your engagement.

To read the report, click here.

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