This statement was adopted at the May 16th, 2022, meeting of the Board of Trustees. It was previously presented to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, who were in support of its adoption.
The statement reads as follows:
The Vermont State College System (VSCS) is committed to nurturing a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive learning and working environment. We condemn racism and welcome all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, or ability, and want everyone to be safe and welcome in our community.
As a system of higher education, we formally condemn discrimination in all its forms, commit to fair and equitable treatment of everyone in our community, and strive to ensure all our actions, policies, and operating procedures reflect this commitment. We also acknowledge that education is both destabilizing and exhilarating and that learning necessarily involves hard conversations and moments of disagreement.
Our commitment is based on three pillars of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice (DEISJ):
- Personal Knowledge of DEISJ: We are committed to providing faculty, staff, and students opportunity for personal growth to increase their understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice related topics so that they can then apply that information to their lives, their community engagements, and their career.
- Professional Knowledge of DEISJ: We are committed to providing faculty, staff and students access to training and learning about how their knowledge of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice topics impact their professional and educational work.
- Data informed Practices: We make decisions and examine our policies and practices based on valid and reliable data sets and how those decisions, policies and practices may positively or negatively impact different populations.
We recognize our diverse community members do not hold a single identity that may impact their belonging, or access to educational or professional opportunities. Each person holds multiple and intersecting personal and social identities that must be recognized as they engage in learning and professional development.
We actively pursue the inclusion of diverse students, faculty, and staff; break down barriers impacting access to education and professional growth for all; and nurture true belonging for our entire community.