*Office of the President

	February 20, 2018

Dear Members of the University of Vermont Community,

The University of Vermont and other college campuses in the state and 
around the country have seen recently a proliferation of racist 
messaging. The origins of these messages on our campus are unknown. 
Regardless of whether the messages come from within or outside our 
community, we condemn them to the fullest extent. We have no tolerance 
for racism in any form.

The University of Vermont has a strong, visible, and ongoing commitment 
to diversity, racial equality, and inclusion. We consistently speak out 
against racism, injustice, and bigotry on our campus and communicate 
frequently with concerned and impacted members of our community. And, 
we know that the work around these important issues is far from done.

We appreciate John Mejia's passion for racial equality both on campus 
and in the city of Burlington. We are concerned for John's health and 
wellbeing. We are offering John health assistance and support as John 
makes personal choices regarding these issues.

Our students, faculty and staff always have been key to helping us make 
significant progress over the years on these critical issues. This work 
started decades ago and continues in earnest today. The University has 
invested significant resources, time, and money in critical initiatives 
designed to promote diversity and educate and engage the entire 
University community. Even though we face challenging times here and 
nationwide, we have enjoyed much progress. Past efforts have laid a 
foundation for those in our community to have their message heard and 
valued rather than dismissed. We continue to focus on understanding 
issues of culture and social justice through supportive professional 
development opportunities. We have built recently assessments of our 
efforts into the formal process of professional performance reviews and 
through a Framework for Inclusive Excellence tool. We provide regular 
and substantial diversity and inclusion training, are actively working 
to hire more faculty of color, and are partnering with the Faculty 
Senate to improve the diversity curriculum and instruction, among other 

Full transparency and open communication have been key elements of our 
past and current processes. As progress has been made, the University 
has issued in the last year 8 comprehensive updates to keep students and 
the entire campus community informed. More detailed information, 
including all recent updates, is available at this website:

As a public institution we remain mindful of the rights of all to 
express freely their views on issues of importance. Our University 
remains steadfast in our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and racial 
equality, and as we grapple with these difficult challenges, we will 
continue, as we have, to speak out against racism, bigotry and injustice.

Working together and communicating with each other on these issues of 
national importance, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and civility, 
will allow us to continue making progress as one University. We welcome 
all who want to join together to be a part of what needs to be a campus, 
community, and national conversation.

With deep respect,

Tom Sullivan, President
David Rosowsky, Provost and Senior Vice President
Wanda Heading-Grant, Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity, and 
Multicultural Affairs
Annie Stevens, Vice Provost for Student Affairs

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

(802) 656-7878 (office)

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