How VMI committees are working to introduce more inclusivity on post

All committees will present updates during the Board of Visitors’ September meeting

It's been an unprecedented year at VMI. Here's how leaders plan to make post more inclusive.

LEXINGTON, Va. – The groups responsible for building a more inclusive post at Virginia Military Institute presented their work in committee meetings Tuesday. This come after an unprecedented year, following the resignation of its former superintendent, a months-long investigation into its procedures, and reports of racism and sexism on post.

The Equity Audit Committee is working to address overall concerns impacting the VMI community. For example, they are weighing recommendations to create a faculty senate, examining strategic ways to beef up diverse recruitment, introduce more financial support to those with limited means, evaluating the honor court and its governance, and more.

This committee’s work has a wide reach. A representative has met with almost every department on campus. They will present these recommendations to the Board of Visitors on September 15 and plan to begin submitting quarterly reports in January.

The Commemorations and Memorials Naming and Review Committee has the tall order of evaluating 35-40 confederacy iconographies on campus. While some have already been addressed, some are still on the todo list.

The New Market Mural, for example, was a hot topic Tuesday. The committee is balancing whether it should stay in place, be moved elsewhere on campus, or be taken down completely.

Experts are being consulted so they can fairly balance each option.

In the meantime, the committee will review all campus confederate iconographies and recommend its fate. Once the responses are compiled, the committee will reconvene before presented its recommendations to the Board of Visitors.

“If you really want to make a change, you don’t do it in one area. You have to look post-wide,” said Chief Diversity Officer LTC Dr. Jamica Love.

Dr. Love outlined the five objectives of strategic plan (inclusive excellence).

  • Access and Success (recruitment, retention, diverse faculty)
  • Climate Objectives (inclusivity, including language used across post)
  • Education and Scholarship (cultural competency)
  • Organizational Accountability
  • Community Engagement

All committees will present updates during the Board of Visitors’ September meeting.

About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.