University of Vermont & Diversity
Published: Sep 12, 2017
Establishing a culture of inclusive excellence is a priority at the University of Vermont. In fact, UVM holds that diversity and academic excellence are inseparable. A distinguished university, particularly one that is a public land grant, must be accessible and inclusive to all who can positively contribute to and excel at the institution, regardless of individuals’ backgrounds and circumstances.
Our mission as a public research university is to educate students and to create and disseminate knowledge. We also have the responsibility to prepare our students to be leaders, change agents, and global citizens. To support this charge, the University of Vermont’s Inclusive Excellence Framework for Building a More Diverse, Inclusive, and Multiculturally Competent Campus is built on the following areas of institutional diversity efforts:
Pillar 1: Academics
Central to the mission and strategic goals of the University of Vermont is excellence in the academic experience to help prepare members of our community to be globally responsible and engaged citizens, advance knowledge, and build critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Pillar 2: Community
The University of Vermont aspires to be a community that affirms and demonstrates the value of the diverse identities and backgrounds of its members, promotes multicultural competence, and builds positive and productive connections throughout the community.
Pillar 3: Environment
The University of Vermont strives to create physical, virtual, and educational living, learning and work environments that are inclusive and accessible to all in our community.
Pillar 4: Operations
Inclusive business operations and organizational processes (e.g., policy development, fiscal and capital planning, human resource functions, and organizational practices and procedures) are critical to the daily functioning and long-term health of the University of Vermont.
Within the academic pillar, UVM actively works with partners across and beyond the University of Vermont to support faculty and their engagement in inclusive excellence and to support diversity and inclusive excellence in the curricula, pedagogy, and research.
Our Common Ground
Throughout our history, the University of Vermont has demonstrated a strong commitment to fairness and equality. Founded in 1791, UVM was the first institution of higher education to declare public support for freedom of religion and the first university to admit women and African Americans into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
Today, we aspire to be a community that values respect, integrity, innovation, openness, justice, and responsibility. These are Our Common Ground values, and they serve as the foundation for all that we do, including striving toward inclusive excellence.
Awards and Recognitions
- Winner of a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for three consecutive years (2014, 2015, 2016), a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- A Campus Pride top 30 LGBTQ-Friendly campus
- The Interfaith Center was awarded a 2017-2018 “Healing the Heart of Democracy” grant by the Interfaith Youth Core and the Fetzer Institute for its Interfaith Engagement Series aimed at building community and conversation among individuals of different identities and perspectives, as well as equipping and empowering students to live out their core religious and philosophical values to create a more just, sustainable society.
Initiatives, Services, Programs and Centers
The Division of Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs has responsibility for bringing attention to the human and social needs of the institution. The integration of diversity and equity and human resource functions allows us to strategically advance purpose-driven initiatives and services, including:
- The President’s Commission for Inclusive Excellence, an institutional advisory board with a primary mission to advance strategic diversity and inclusion goals.
- Inclusive Excellence at the University of Vermont: A Framework for Building a More Diverse, Inclusive, and Multiculturally Competent Campus 2016-2021 (PDF)
- Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and university policies related to discrimination.
- Center for Cultural Pluralism, equipping faculty, staff and students with the cultural and social justice competencies necessary to function at their best in their intellectual, leadership and pedagogical practices.
- Diversity Course Requirement, educating all undergraduate students on Race & Racism in the U.S. and the Diversity of Human Experience.
- ALANA (Asian-American, Latino, African-American & Native American) Coalition, a campus wide organization that serves and represents faculty, staff and graduate students of color.
- The Mosaic Center for Students of Color, supporting the holistic development of African, Latino(a), Asian, Native American, Multiracial and New American students so that as confident students of color they attain their goals for academic achievement, personal growth, identity formation, and cultural development.
- LGBTQA Center, building respectful, friendly, inclusive community and learning environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer people at UVM.
- Women’s Center, empowering women and their allies to use their voices, raise awareness about the critical issues facing women, and highlight their many accomplishments.
- Interfaith Center, equipping and empowering individuals, and the institution as a whole, to engage more comfortably and competently with matters of spirituality and religion
- providing UVM students, staff, faculty and its affiliates space for reflection, spiritual practice, conversation, education and community building activities, particularly related to spirituality and religion.
- Student Accessibility Services, providing accommodations to students with documented disabilities.
- Bias Response Program, a three-pronged approach to addressing incidents of bias targeting UVM students, faculty, and staff.
- Central Diversity Fund, supporting organizational and individual efforts and events that advance diversity through co-curricular activities.
- Faculty Resource Network, a faculty development initiative centered at New York University. UVM is one of 52 college and university members of this consortium, giving faculty access to seminars and visiting scholar programs that often engage topics of multiculturalism, identity and social justice.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Professional Development and Training