We are excited to announce that a new VIMS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force has been established to examine best practices and provide the VIMS Administration, the W&M Provost Michael Halleran, the W&M Chief Diversity Officer Chon Glover and W&M President Katherine Rowe with recommendations on ways to improve diversity at VIMS and W&M generally. This task force, and similar groups representing all schools at the college, is charged with developing and recommending tangible and immediately implementable products aimed at increasing diversity in faculty hiring and fostering a diverse and inclusive campus climate. We will work closely with the VIMS Dive-In Committee, formalizing many of the initiatives started by that committee, while also developing new strategies for furthering and maintaining diversity at VIMS. The DEI Task Force is a short-term ad hoc committee, with a draft report due to Dean/Director Wells by June 1, 2019. The DEI task force will complement the VIMS DiveIn committee, which is a standing committee that is charged with implementation of recommendations as approved by D/D Wells.
Our charge from D/D Wells is copied below. In order to provide the best, most thoughtful advice, in the coming months we will hold informational sessions with members of the VIMS community to collect data, and will work to synthesize this information, as well as externally derived data. We are open to receiving advice, thoughts, and information directly from the VIMS community as well.
DaNika Robinson and Eric Hilton, DEI Task Force co-chairs
DEI Task Force Members: Rochelle Seitz; Jeff Shields; Emily Hein; Will Benton; Tricia Thibodeau, and Laur Ferris
Charge to VIMS Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Identify, analyze and update issues that are most important at VIMS in the areas of diversity, inclusion and equity as produced in the detailed 2016 Diversity Report. This can be accomplished through feedback from the VIMS community using, for example, additional targeted focus groups, a VIMS-specific climate survey, and formal and informal meetings with faculty, staff and students.
- Recommend on the basis of the above work the high priority and high value actions that are achievable and measureable for advancing diversity, inclusion and equity. Include discussion of any recent steps at VIMS that have already shown positive outcomes.
- Ensure that one component of the high priority and high value actions applies specifically to hiring underrepresented minority faculty at VIMS. Determine categories of excellence for sorting candidates that go beyond standard metrics for research, education and advisory service.
- Engage Chon Glover, Chief Diversity Officer at W&M as a resource when needed, and utilize ongoing work by the VIMS DiveIn Committee recognizing that they are responsible for long-term, ongoing work and the Task Force is an ad hoc committee working on a short timeline.
- Keep the Dean and Director informed of your progress through monthly meetings. Complete and submit a report to the president, provost and Chief Diversity Officer no later than June 30, 2019.