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VMI Board of Visitors’ committees meet on changes, recommendations

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Military Institute’s Board of Visitors has been addressing allegations of racism and sexism first described by the Washington Post and by an investigation order by the governor released in June.

Tuesday, three ad hoc committees met, addressing the recommendations made by law firm Barnes & Thornburg, what to do about monuments and memorials with Confederate connections, and plans for the newly-established Chief Diversity Officer.

“I want to make sure that our board is well informed about what’s going on on campus,” said that Chief Diversity Officer, Lt. Col. Jamica Love, “about the culture, the climate of the institution.”

But first they had review of actions being taken.

“VMI is being responsive, right?” Love said. “But they’re going past that. They’re going past being responsive to say we want to make sure that we have an institutional foundation in reference to inclusive excellence.”

Including changing some old names, and adding new memorials, like one to VMI alumnus Jonathan Daniels.

“You know, we have a 180-year-plus history,” Love said, “unlike some other institutions, right? So when you have all of that history, maybe you’ve got a lot of things you have to process, right? For 182 years, this is what we’ve been doing, so we’ve got to continue to refine this process and continue to make it better.”

The process is continuing through this fall, with reports and plans going to the superintendent, the board and the state.

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