Dear VCU Faculty:

As you likely know, VCU’s Board of Visitors today, exercising their authority to determine university graduation mandates, signaled their support for the courses created to implement VCU’s Racial Literacy requirement but voted against mandating the requirement.

Obviously, this is not the outcome for which we worked. As I told the Board, I supported your efforts for three primary reasons:

  • First and foremost, the curriculum at VCU, like that at all U.S. higher education institutions, is shaped by our experts – the faculty. Our institution thrives when it taps the collective intellect of its faculty and staff. This, after all, is the engine that is driving VCU’s ascent as one of the nation’s most innovative universities in the U.S. News rankings. The collective faculty that delivered in a big way through our academic repositioning work; that is leading the charge on how we excel with practical A.I.; is responsible for this effort too.
  • Second, VCU’s strategic plan includes the idea of developing racial literacy competencies as part of general education. The third goal under the Diversity Drives Excellence pillar includes the call to, “Promote, develop and scale curricular initiatives related to inclusive pedagogy.”
  • And, third, our faculty has done the hard work to make this requirement a reality. You  met every policy requirement head-on, even when that was hard to do. And, in securing votes of affirmation and re-affirmation across our governing bodies, and in working so closely with our students, you have demonstrated the VCU values of access, excellence, and impact that we all sought to impart through this requirement.

I am grateful to the many faculty, staff, and students – and there are far too many to name in this message – who have worked vigorously to create this requirement and the courses to fulfill it. Your hard work is a credit to you personally and the university as a whole.

As for what’s next regarding the faculty-approved courses, Andrew Arroyo, the interim senior vice provost for Academic Affairs, will soon connect with the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee regarding next steps.

P.S. Here’s the link to the university’s official statement about today’s vote.

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Categories Academic Affairs, Racial Literacy