Diversity Summit engages campus stakeholders

Diversity Summit
Interim Provost Cyril Clarke (left) speaks to participants of the university’s recent Diversity Summit, which was sponsored by the Office for Inclusion and Diversity.

The Office for Inclusion and Diversity at Virginia Tech sponsored its annual Diversity Summit, which was attended by more than 260 representatives campus-wide.

The two-day summit, held Aug. 15 and 16, brought together diversity and inclusion stakeholders from across campus to reinvigorate collective efforts toward diversity strategic goals. This year’s summit, which was held in the Classroom Building, opened with welcoming remarks from Interim Provost Cyril Clarke and Menah Pratt-Clarke, vice president for strategic affairs and vice provost for inclusion and diversity.

The summit offered seven targeted topics:

  • The Ut Prosim Difference in the Context of the University Strategic Plan.
  • Strategies for Leading through a Diversity & Inclusion Lens.
  • Collaboration and Priority Setting for CEOD, Caucuses, and Community.
  • Building Faculty Community for Inclusive Pedagogy.
  • Building Community, Building Capacity.
  • Undergraduate Student Success.
  • Graduate Student Diversity Recruitment and Retention.
  • Faculty Search Strategies.

The summit focused on capacity building and increasing the ability of the campus community to advance inclusion and diversity initiatives. In addition to members of the senior administrative leadership team and the deans’ council, the summit was attended by faculty, staff, and administrators across the campus.

A key focus of the summit was the conversation on the Ut Prosim Difference, which is about the ways in which Virginia Tech distinguishes and differentiates itself through its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). It also provided insight on the power of difference and the opportunity for diverse views, ideas, and perspectives to enhance and promote excellence.

Pratt-Clarke noted that this fall would be an opportunity for the campus community to continue the conversation about the Ut Prosim Difference.

“The Ut Prosim Difference has the potential to be a unique differentiator for Virginia Tech as a land-grant institution and as we seek to achieve our trifold mission of learning, discovery, and engagement. Our conversations this fall will help bring clarity and focus to this important concept,” she said.

“We are committed to promoting sustainable transformation at Virginia Tech around inclusion and diversity,” Interim Provost Clarke said. “Sustainable transformation requires the engagement and commitment of the entire institution, which is consistent with InclusiveVT and our individual and institutional commitment to Ut Prosim in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. I’m very pleased with Dr. Menah Pratt-Clarke and her team for organizing such an amazing two-day event filled with numerous resources available to our faculty and staff.”

Comments gathered during the summit praised the Office for Inclusion and Diversity for bringing different groups together.

“Sometimes it’s a challenge to include everyone in events that may have folks from other countries and/or thought patterns feel uncomfortable,” one participant said. “The Office for Inclusion and Diversity did a great job with bringing it all together openly and respectfully.”

To receive information from any of the Diversity Summit sessions, please contact Michele Deramo, assistant provost for diversity education and programs, who coordinated the summit.

To learn more about the Office for Inclusion and Diversity and its upcoming programs, please visit https://www.inclusive.vt.edu/, or call 540-231-7500.

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