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September 11, 2012


From:    Tom Sullivan, President

              Jane Knodell, Provost and Senior Vice President

              Wanda Heading-Grant, Chief Diversity Officer and Special Assistant to the President for Multicultural Affairs

To:         UVM Community

Re:         Campus Climate Survey Update

We write to you today to provide you with an update on the Campus Climate Survey administered in Spring 2011.


The purpose of the survey was to assess the University’s effectiveness in creating an environment that fully upholds the values and the principles embodied in Our Common Ground Statement. We urge all members of the campus community to review and reflect on the summary of the results.  You can find the results of the Campus Climate Survey at the following websites:

As you will see, we have more work to do.


We must use what we have learned from the survey to create an action plan for moving forward. In that vein, the survey results have been discussed by the Educational Policy and Institutional Resources Committee of the Board of Trustees, by the Presidential Commissions charged with addressing diversity, inclusion, and campus safety, and with senior leaders.


Three recommendations have come out of those discussions, and progress is being made on each one. First, focus groups were conducted over the summer with the goal of getting a deeper understanding of some of the survey results.  Dr. Heading-Grant will report on the results of the focus group interviews at the November Board of Trustees meeting. Second, a diversity data inventory is being conducted with support from the Office of Institutional Research. This data will be the basis of a comprehensive diversity assessment plan. Third, a work group is developing a proposal for a comprehensive professional development program. By building the multicultural competence of everyone who works and learns at UVM, we will reduce the incidence of actual and perceived bias and discrimination on our campus. 


All of us must do our part to ensure that the University of Vermont is an inclusive and welcoming place for all of us.  We urge you, again, to review and reflect on the results of the survey, and we ask that you take every opportunity to uphold our common values of respect, integrity, innovation, openness, justice, and responsibility.


Tom Sullivan
University of Vermont
85 South Prospect
Waterman Building
Burlington, Vermont 05405

(802) 656-7878 (office)
(802) 656- 9220 (fax)

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