April 30, 2009
Open letter to the VT faculty, staff, and student community from President Charles Steger and Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee:
As the spring semester draws to a close, we wish to reaffirm that Virginia Tech is firmly committed to growing and sustaining a diverse and inclusive learning, living, and working environment. Our progress toward this goal will continue to be reflected in the composition of Virginia Tech’s leadership, faculty, staff, and students; our policies, procedures, and practices; across our curricula and co-curricular services and programs; and woven throughout the fabric of our community.
Our institutional core values of freedom of inquiry, mutual respect, lifelong learning, a commitment to diverse and inclusive communities, Ut Prosim, personal and institutional integrity, and a culture of continuous improvement are clearly aligned with our University Strategic Plan. Therefore, we affirm our commitment to inclusive excellence as an organizational strategy, because we believe that our achievement of educational and institutional excellence is inextricably bound to our diversity and inclusion efforts.
Fundamental to these priorities are Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community (http://www.vt.edu/diversity/principles-of-community.html), which underpin our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members. We also affirm individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others.
We are committed to creating opportunities to engage you (faculty, staff, and students) in substantive discussions about the ways in which we can continue to work together to realize these goals across all dimensions of our university. We are holding meetings with representative groups and we look forward to ongoing discussions in the near future.
Thank you for your active support and many contributions towards our shared vision for an inclusive community.
Charles W. Steger Mark G. McNamee
President Senior Vice President and Provost
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