Memo from Virginia Tech Dean Sue Ott Rowlands to CLAHS Colleagues

By April 30, 2009

Dear CLAHS Colleagues,

In the media recently, some have mischaracterized our college’s commitment to diversity as a rigid requirement for promotion and tenure. That has never been our intention and we will make sure that our P&T document makes that clear. At the same time, please know that our commitment to equity and inclusive excellence has never been stronger. One of our greatest strengths is in our commitment to embrace cultural differences, varied talents, and multiple ways of thinking and being. I particularly resonate with one of the paragraphs from the “core values” section of our soon-to-be-unveiled strategic plan. Here it is: “In the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences we strive to promote an environment in which learning, discovery, and engagement are created and sustained by a diverse body of students, faculty, and staff. The value we place upon equity obliges us to challenge systems of oppression and privilege…(Moreover) in CLAHS, service is not just a path we choose but a perspective we consciously adopt – one that enables us to discover and critique ourselves, our world, and others.” We all have within us the ability to create a college that is welcoming and affirming of difference — a place where we all can survive and thrive. Thanks for your efforts toward this end.


Sue Ott Rowlands

Schools: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Cases: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: “Diversity” Requirement for Faculty Assessment Violates Academic Freedom and Freedom of Conscience