Racial Equity

Racial Equity

In September of 2020, the University's Board of Visitors (BOV) endorsed eleven long-term goals with twenty specific actions to advance racial equity at the University. These initiatives were rooted in the analysis and recommendations of President Jim Ryan's Racial Equity Task Force, convened in the summer of 2020. This important work is now ongoing across many areas of the University. The Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion supports the Office of the President in tracking the progress made on racial equity initiatives endorsed by the BOV. As a short term exploratory and advisory body, the Racial Equity Task Force (RETF) aligned initiatives with the University's Inclusive Excellence framework  and the University's 2030 Strategic Plan to orient and embed the initiatives in our institutional operations. This alignment ensures a sustainable approach for supporting the collective actions across the broad range of work necessary by many at UVA. Below you can review the status updates on initiatives endorsed by the BOV, and additional new and ongoing work contributing to achieving institutional goals for racial equity.

Read: Racial Equity Task Force Report

Progress on Board Resolutions and Endorsements Advancing Racial Equity

Infrastructure + Investment Racial Equity Initiatives
UVA Board of Visitors Endorsed Goal/Action Strategic Alignment UVA Implementation Leads/Partners Status Update
Develop plans for funding racial equity initiatives, including funds from UVA’s Strategic Investment Fund.
  • RETF:"Endow Equity"
University-wide endeavor

Spring 2021:

  • Given the evolving nature of the needs, the Board authorized University Leadership to work over time to identify how existing funding and new apportionment would be allocated.
  • The Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion established a Racial Equity Action Fund and University Advancement is partnering on identifying the ongoing development strategy. This includes hiring a Director of Development for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Search launched January 2021).
  • The University has committed a total of $7 million which will endow the Carter G. Woodson Institute’s renowned post-doctoral fellowship program, a two-year residential fellowship for students whose work focuses on Africa and/or the African diaspora. Another $3 million will go toward a new endowed professorship, and up to $6 million will be available as matching funds for the creation of three Bicentennial Professorships. In addition, the College is supporting a range of new hires for the institute and partnering departments.
  • A $5 Million dollar grant from the Mellon Foundation is supporting the growth of racial equity programs, funding post-doctoral fellowships, and supporting faculty teaching and research in the area of racial equity.
Create a system of metrics and assessment to identify goals and mark progress around racial equity and report to the Board of Visitors on progress on a semi-annual basis.
  • 2030 Goals 1, 2, 4
  • RETF: "Equity Scorecard"

University Data Governance Officers and Data Stewards

 

 

Spring 2021:

  • The Executive Vice President and Provost and the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships has initiated a small working group to develop and publish an online dashboard.
  • The Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion began a search for an Assistant Director for Assessment and Data Analytics to support the sustainability and growth of this initiative in partnership with Institutional Research and Assessment, the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, and University Human Resources.

Ensure that the division of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Community Partnerships has sufficient resources to do their work

 

STATUS: COMPLETE

  • 2030 Goals 1 & 2
  • RETF: "Fund the Division for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion"

Office of the President

 

Office of the Executive Vice President and COO

Spring 2021:

  • An additional $500,000 was added to the Division's annual operating budget to support:
    • Inclusive Excellence Fellows;
    • Community Partnerships;
    • Development of anti-racism education programs; and
    • Other programs and initiatives
  • Three additional full-time staff positions were approved and are currently being recruited including:
    • Director of Diversity Education
    • Director of Communications
    • Assistant Director of Assessment & Data Analytics
Access + Success Racial Equity Initiatives
UVA Board of Visitors Endorsed Goal/Action Strategic Alignment UVA Implementation Leads/Partners Status Update
Develop a plan and a time horizon for having a student population that better reflects the racial and socioeconomic demographics of the Commonwealth of Virginia and, as much as feasible, of the nation.
  • 2030 Goals 1 & 2
  • RETF: "Represent Virginia"

Vice President of Enrollment

 

All Academic Deans

Spring 2021:

  • The University has hired a new Vice Provost of Enrollment who began work in January 2021 and among several key priorities, will be working with a range of stakeholders and schools to build a comprehensive strategy and set of metrics to evaluate racial equity in enrollment.
  • The Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the McIntire School of Commerce, the School of Data Science, the School of Law, and several others have all recently or are in the process of hiring for positions focused on supporting students and their broader school communities to advance in this goal.
Double the number of underrepresented faculty at UVA by 2030.
  • 2030 Goal 1
  • RETF: "Inclusive Faculty Initiative"

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

 

All Academic Deans

Spring 2021:

  • A $5 Million dollar grant from the Mellon Foundation is supporting the growth of racial equity programs, funding post-doctoral fellowships, and supporting faculty teaching and research focused on racial equity.
  • The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will be launching 15 faculty searches over the next three years, including a cluster of six searches on race and inequality.
  • As part of their Inclusive Excellence planning process, several schools are currently planning or are partially underway with policy equity studies to examine their overall practices including, recruitment, promotion and tenure, and several other areas of functioning.
Review policies regarding staff hiring, wages, retention, promotion and procurement, in order to ensure equity.
  • 2030 Goal 1
  • RETF: "Pathways for Staff Success"

Office of the Executive Vice President and COO

 

Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Spring 2021:

  • University Human Resources is currently undertaking a long-term project to evaluate the job structures in place at the University to establish more clarity in the career pathways. This work includes establishing a process for ensuring consistent evaluation of qualifications and experience that qualify individuals for roles beyond, or in addition to, specific degree programs.
  • UVA Finance has contracted with the Racial Equity Group to conduct a racial equity assessment of their entire operational area, including leadership development sessions for building a racial equity mindset. This engagement is being evaluated as a model for other operational areas of the University.

 

Climate + Intergroup Relations Racial Equity Initiatives
UVA Board of Visitors Endorsed Goal/Action Strategic Alignment UVA Implementation Leads/Partners Status Update

Improve the climate at UVA by rethinking, reframing, retelling, and renaming UVA’s historic landscape.

  • 2030 Goal 1 & 2
  • RETF: "Grounds for All"

Office of the President

 

Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Spring 2021:

  • In February 2021, President Ryan named members of the re-configured and re-constituted Naming and Memorials Committee  to support the Board's approval of the 5 specific recommendations in this area and to support these efforts for the future.
  • In September 2020, the BOV approved 5 changes impacting the historical landscape at the University including:
    • Renaming the School of Education and Human Development to remove the name of a slaveholder and Confederate leader opposed to integrated schools. COMPLETE
    • Contextualizing the statue of Thomas Jefferson on the north side of the Rotunda.
    • Removal of the George Rogers Clark statue.
    • Rededication, if possible, or removal, if rededication is not possible, of the Hume Memorial Wall, known as the Whispering Wall, which is a Confederate memorial honoring Confederate soldier and Virginia politician Frank Hume.
    • Rename a School of Law building by removing the name of a Confederate leader to simply Brown Hall. COMPLETE
Thoroughly review University Police practices and policies to ensure fair, equitable and transparent practices reflecting 21st-century policing principles and developing relevant training for officers and supervisors.
  • 2030 Goal 1 & 2
  • RETF: "Grounds for All"
Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
  • The Department of Safety and Security created and hired a Diversity Officer to coordinate a range of efforts promoting equity in the area's workforce and practices. This is part of the overarching Inclusive Excellence planning process for the area which includes a range or priorities, including deepening the engagement with and impact of the Police Advisory Board.
Form a Department of Safety and Security Advisory Council
  • 2030 Goal 1 & 2
  • RETF: "Grounds for All"
Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
  • In the Fall of 2020 the Department of Safety and Security formed an Advisory Council including representatives from several offices across Grounds, student representatives, and others. The plan for regular meetings, the scope of the council's responsibilities, and specific actions is under construction.

 

Education + Scholarship Racial Equity Initiatives
UVA Board of Visitors Endorsed Goal/Action Strategic  Alignment UVA Implementation Leads/Partners Status Update
Review the tenure and promotion process.
  • 2030 Goal 1 & 3
  • RETF: Review Tenure & Academic Policies"

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

 

All Academic Deans

Spring 2021:

  • Comprehensive plans for review of promotion and tenure policies are underway in several schools at varying stages of progress.
  • The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost is currently working on a plan for a University-wide review.
  • The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences has started a year-long project to engage in a comprehensive equity review of all of its policies utilizing the Directors for Diversity and Inclusion embedded in each department of A&S.
  • The Center for Teaching Excellence, a hub for faculty development in the area of teaching and learning, has kicked off a comprehensive equity audit through an external equity specialist.

Endow the key programmatic elements of the Carter Woodson Institute and provide funding to create more faculty positions.

STATUS: COMPLETE

  • 2030 Goal 1 & 2
  • RETF: "Endow Carter G. Woodson Institute"

Office of the President

 

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

 

Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Spring 2021:

  • The University has committed a total of $7 million which will endow the institute’s renowned post-doctoral fellowship program, a two-year residential fellowship for students whose work focuses on Africa and/or the African diaspora. Another $3 million will go toward a new endowed professorship, and up to $6 million will be available as matching funds for the creation of three Bicentennial Professorships. In addition, the College is supporting a range of new hires for the institute and partnering departments.
Develop a series of educational programs around racial equity and anti-racism, including leadership development programs focused on equity, including racial equity.
  • 2030 Goal 1 & 2
  • RETF: "Provide Anti-Racism Education"

All Academic Deans

 

Office of Faculty Development

 

Center for Teaching Excellence

 

Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Spring 2021:

  • An ad-hoc working group of academic leaders are currently working to identify a range of pathways for providing integrated, sustainable and comprehensive anti-racism educational opportunities for University students.
  • A signature course offered in the 2021 J-Term explored "Whiteness: the History of a Racial Category".
  • In the Fall of 2020 the executive leadership of the University participated in a session with nationally recognized scholar Sharon Fries-Britt, the first of a planned series of development sessions, promoting racial equity in academia.
  • In the Fall of 2020 the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hosted a four-part dialogue series called "Remembering for Our Future" to examine the history of race, racism, and racial ideas at the University. An introduction to racial literacy was also developed as a presentation for departments and groups. Collectively among these two programs almost 900 people have engaged in anti-racism education.
  • The Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion launched a 2020-2021  Racial Equity Speakers series. These public speaker sessions include internationally recognized scholars and journalists: Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Eddie Glaude Jr., Laura Morgan Roberts, Ijeoma Oluo, and Ibram X. Kendi.
  • In January of 2021, the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion launched a search for a Director of Diversity Education who will help lead efforts in this goal area.
  • In the Spring of 2021, more than 100 faculty and staff in the McIntire School of Commerce are participating in a 5-week anti-racism program.
  • A key component of the Mellon Grant the University received sets aside approximately $2 million over three years for curricular enhancements stemming from the work and contributions of the post-doctoral fellows in Race, Place, and Equity.

 

Healing + Repair Racial Equity Initiatives
UVA Board of Visitors Endorsed Goal/Action Strategic Alignment UVA Implementation Leads/Partners Status Update
Encourage related organizations to develop a scholarship program for the descendants of enslaved laborers who worked to build and maintain the University.
  • 2030 Goal 2 & 4
  • RETF: "Pay Our Debts"
UVA Alumni Association

Spring 2021:

  • The University has committed to an extension of the work of the genealogist commissioned to identify and connect with descendants of people enslaved by the University to support UVA affiliated organizations with administering such a program, as it emerges.

 

Explore potential initiatives to recognize and support Native American students and Native American studies.
  • 2030 Goal 2 & 4
  • RETF: "Indigenous Nation's Platform"

Office of the President

 

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

 

Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

 

Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Spring 2021:

  • The President has engaged in multiple direct conversations with the Native American and Indigenous Studies group and has prioritized undergraduate recruitment of Native American students in Virginia in partnership with the Vice Provost for Enrollment and the creation of an Indigenous and Native American Studies Minor. This work will be led by the Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
  • The Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be partnering with the Native American and Indigenous Studies group to structure an Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellow to focus on support for the Native American and Indigenous community at UVA.

 

 

UVA lawn

UVA Board of Visitors Endorses Goals Presented by the Racial Equity Task Force

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors endorsed several goals articulated by UVA’s Racial Equity Task Force and requested that UVA leadership develop a plan for funding, implementing and measuring progress toward those goals.

The goals stem from the task force’s report, released in August, which UVA President Jim Ryan described as “a call for us to be the very best version of ourselves and to live our stated commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion to become a better university.”

The board asked UVA leadership to develop plans for funding these initiatives, including funds from UVA’s Strategic Investment Fund, and to create ways to monitor and assess progress and report to the board on a semi-annual basis.

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charlottesville
Historical View Main Street Charlottesville

$5 Million Mellon Grant Backs New Academic Program on ‘Race, Place and Equity’

A new UVA initiative, funded by a three-year, $5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will create a broad, interdisciplinary undergraduate program on “Race, Place and Equity” while partly funding 30 post-doctoral fellows and three faculty members, expanding UVA’s academic strengths in teaching about racial equity and democracy.

As part of expanding scholarship in the legacies of racial inequity, the University will hire three new tenure-track Race, Equity and Democracy faculty, with UVA and the Mellon grant sharing start-up costs and salary for the first three years. This will help advance the racial equity task force recommendation to double the number of underrepresented faculty by 2030.

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images of grounds
Collection of memorializations on UVA Grounds.

Board Votes on 5 Renaming, Landscape Recommendations

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors approved five recommendations from UVA’s Racial Equity Task Force regarding changes to UVA’s historic landscape.

“My view, and I know this is shared by my entire leadership team, is that this moment offers us a unique opportunity to take action that will leave a lasting and positive impact on the university we all love,” UVA President Jim Ryan said Friday. “Actions that will make this place more clearly and obviously welcoming to all, and where all have an opportunity to thrive.”

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Minor Hall
C.G.Woodson Institute is located in Minor Hall.

$30 Million Investment Benefits STEM Research, Carter G. Woodson Institute

The University will invest $16 million to support the Carter G. Woodson Institute. Founded in 1981, the institute is the home of the African American and African Studies interdisciplinary major in the College and works to enhance the research and teaching of African American and African studies at UVA.

A total of $7 million will endow the institute’s renowned post-doctoral fellowship program, a two-year residential fellowship for students whose work focuses on Africa and/or the African diaspora. Another $3 million will go toward a new endowed professorship, and up to $6 million will be available as matching funds for the creation of three Bicentennial Professorships. In addition, the College is supporting a range of new hires for the institute and partnering departments.

Read More