LEXINGTON, Va. – Virginia Military Institute’s superintendent said they are making progress with the changes they have made after a report highlighted accusations of institutional racism and sexism at the college.
After facing the coronavirus pandemic and an equity audit, VMI Superintendent Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins said he is proud of the Corps of Cadets embracing new changes.
“I think VMI is in a much better place,” he said.
A state-ordered report last year in June detailed accusations of institutional racism and sexism at the military college. But for more than a year, Wins has made changes with the goal to still uphold school traditions.
For example, the student-run honor court committee will remain to investigate cases of cadet violations.
But now there will be a more diverse jury, extra jurors and legal representation will be allowed again.
“It’s fundamental to many of the aspects we talk about when we talk about the character development of our young people,” Wins said. “Honor is a big component of it.”
In July, a chief diversity officer was hired to help address inclusivity.
Wins said it’s been “impressive” to see how cadets are learning how to handle similarities and differences despite their backgrounds and “to be able to communicate with one another so they have an appreciation and the respect for those things.”
He said these changes will help prepare a new generation of leaders.
“We want to train and mentor and develop our young people,” he said. “It needs to be much like the society that they are going to go out in. Either lead themselves or lead teams of folks to be successful.”