LEXINGTON, Va. – What’s been months in the making is now complete.
On Tuesday, Barnes & Thornburg LLP released the final report from its special investigation team regarding the equity audit and investigation of racism at Virginia Military Institute.
“This investigation found that institutional racism and sexism are present, tolerated, and left unaddressed at VMI,” according to page 8 of the report.
While the report does not recommend that any of VMI’s core policies, practices and traditions, including the Honor Code and Rat Line, be abolished, it does recommend that VMI leadership examine how it can create an environment that does not disadvantage or impose disparate effects on minorities.
Specifically, the report recommended the following 8 actions:
- Maintain accountability
- Improve diversity in leadership and the corps
- Monitor and adjust institutions and traditions
- Temper associations between VMI and the Civil War and Confederacy
- Actively address racist, sexist, and other unacceptable language and behavior
- Encourage reporting and transparency
- Recognize and celebrate other cultures
- Address tensions between athletes and non-athletes
“Given what has been going on and what I’ve been thrust into, I think it gives me a lot of pause about kind of the awesome responsibility of it all,” VMI Superintendent Major General Cedric Wins said. “I think what we are poised to do is to position ourselves where VMI is inclusive to young men and women who want to come here.”
VMI said they’re in the process of hiring a diversity and equity officer and they’ll move forward under the “One Corps - One VMI” mantra and will work in recommendations where they see fit.