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University of Virginia

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
190 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Phone
(434) 924-0311
School Information
"In 1819, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia and inaugurated a bold experiment – a public university designed to advance human knowledge, educate leaders and cultivate an informed citizenry. More than two centuries later, this vision is thriving. Across Grounds - and throughout the world - UVA students, faculty, staff and alumni challenge convention, break barriers and pursue the greater good." "The University of Virginia encompasses twelve schools in Charlottesville, as well as the College at Wise in Southwest Virginia. Not including the College at Wise, the University employs nearly 30,000 people, including approximately 16,000 faculty and staff, and approximately 12,000 Health System employees." (Source: https://www.virginia.edu/aboutuva) (Source: https://www.virginia.edu/facts)
General Information
UVA has taken several initiatives to support anti-racism on campus. The university administrators will be factoring "equity" into admissions and hiring practices. Anti-racist education will be required for all UVA community members, although the exact form is not yet clear. The task force formed by UVA has allocated $950 million towards racial justice initiatives, although where the money will be spent is unclear. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • University administrators will be implementing an “Equity” scorecard in admissions and hiring practices.
  • In 2023, the University released an updated application that "provides an opportunity for students to describe their experiences, including but not limited to their experiences of race or ethnicity, and the ways in which those experiences have shaped their ability to contribute.”
  • On June 29, 2023, UVA's President and Provost issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action which states, "As we write, we are still evaluating the opinion to determine how it may affect our current admissions approach and what changes we may need to make as a result. We will of course continue to follow the law. We will also continue to do everything within our legal authority to recruit and admit a class of students who are diverse across every possible dimension and to make every student feel welcome and included here at UVA."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Anti-Racist Education will be required for all members of the UVA Community
  • The University committed to "develop a series of educational programs around racial equity and anti-racism, including leadership development programs focused on equity, including racial equity," which they have implemented since 2020.
  • An implicit bias module is required of "all first-year students."
  • In April 2023, the School of Education and Human Development offered a "DEI Collective Learning Series" on "Quantitative Critical Race Theory," which is "an anti-racist theoretical approach to quantitative methods that examines the ways in which these methods can reflect racial biases."
Program and Research Funding
  • Task force allocated $950 million towards racial justice initiatives.
  • The School of Education and Human Development formed the Critical Whiteness Study Group in 2022, which consists of a group that receives grant funding and will “aim to meet monthly over the summer to discuss a book that addresses whiteness and disrupting white supremacy.”
  • Starting in 2020, the University launched several "Healing & Repair Racial Equity Initiatives" per the recommendations of a specialized task force. The Racial Equity Task Force proposed a "Pay our Debts" initiative to "encourage related organizations to develop a scholarship program for the descendants of enslaved laborers who worked to build and maintain the University." As of 2024, the University has "committed to an extension of the work of the genealogist commissioned to identify and connect with descendants of people enslaved by the University."
  • In 2021, the University acquired a multi-year "five-million-dollar grant from the Mellon Foundation to support the growth of racial equity programs, fund post-doctoral fellowships, and [support] faculty teaching and research racial equity."
  • The University offers a variety of scholarships for "Black students across the course of their UVA career" through the Ridley Scholarship Program.
  • The Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) small grant "is a funding opportunity created to support interdisciplinary school-level activities, events, or projects that have the potential to enhance diversity, promote equity, and foster inclusion across departments and centers and amongst students, faculty, and staff." The small grant is available to students and faculty of the School of Education and Human Development "interested in leading an activity to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within the school’s departments and centers."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • In a statement on accountability and transparency, the UVA police department stated "We routinely assess our police-citizen interactions, identify valuable officer in-service training opportunities and encourage our officers to set personal goals directly related to fair and equitable policing initiatives."
  • The UVA Police Department hired Cortney Hawkins as its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion manager, where she works on "the development and implementation of proactive diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in support of the police department’s overall efforts to serve the University and community."
  • All campus police officers are "required to take 40 credit hours of mandatory service training in the areas of career development, diversity, equity and inclusion, and legal matters that have been approved by the department" over the course of two years. Furthermore, officers are required to participate in "in-person hate crime training" and have been required to participate in "racial sensitivity training," "cultural sensitivity training," and "bias training."
Resources
  • In February 2021, the University launched a new VIVA Anti-Racism webinar series to discuss equity, racism, and “acknowledge the existence of systemic racism and oppression in library practices.”
  • On April 21, 2021, the UVA Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hosted a session of the Racial Equity Speaker Series featuring a conversation with Ibram X. Kendi.
  • In January of 2023, it was reported that researchers at University of Virginia “within the School of Education and Human Development and its Center for Race and Public Education in the South (CRPES) are making their research available through a free, online resource guide for teachers.” This research centers around racism, marginalization, and racial injustice.
  • The University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development hosts the Center for Race and Public Education in the South which is a research center that “conducts and supports research and scholarship on issues that lie at the intersection of race, education and schooling in the southern United States.”
  • The School of Education and Human Development’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion serves to “engage in policy, initiatives, programming, funding opportunities and professional development aligned with the diversity and equity goals of the school” since its 2020 launch.
  • The School of Education and Human Development hosts the DEI Collective Learning Series which “engages faculty, staff, and students in programming focused on topics of DEI.”
  • It is stated by the School of Education and Human Development that, “each year, the Diversity Action Committee (DAC), in consultation with school community members, chooses a book to serve as the Common Read.” Furthermore, “The Common Read is a signature, school-wide event that provides opportunities for discussion, introduced through an annual fall kick-off event, Common Read overview for all new and returning students at fall orientation, a brief discussion at the annual faculty retreat, and ongoing workshops presented over the fall semester that are open to faculty, staff, and students.”
  • The School of Education and Human Development’s Diversity Action Committee “works closely with the Faculty Council and the school's Office of DEI to enact the school’s equity-minded mission.”
  • The University of Virginia Career Center states that it is “committed to diverse and inclusive practices in all facets of counseling, programming, and career development” and that it plans to “use an intersectional approach in our services and be mindful of how power, privilege, and bias are at play within the employment process.” Furthermore, the Career Center offers DEI resources.
  • The Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provides comprehensive resource recommendations with "information about a broad range of diversity, equity, inclusion, civil rights, and anti-racism learning resources, recommended by members of the UVA community." Resources include the "Seeing White Podcast," a "Guide to Allyship," "Teaching Tolerance," and the "Anti-Racist Table," among others.
  • The Provost’s office offers many faculty development sessions "to build inclusive competence" including Teaching Race at UVA, Leadership in Academic Matters, and Faculty Search Seminars. Sessions cover topics such as "racial history, inclusive leadership, and implicit bias."
  • The School of Nursing provides students with an Anti-Racism study guide covering "systematic racism, white privilege, and self-assessment tools for personal reflection."
Symbolic Actions
  • University administrators will be launching the “Grounds for All” campaign to rename symbols on campus, as well as creating new ones to commemorate “the lived experience of historically underrepresented groups at UVA”.
  • The school’s student organization, SEEDS4Change, is “committed to challenging dominant narratives, disrupting systems of oppression and inequity, empowering students to recognize and activate their agency, and creating sustainable changes within the School of Education and Human Development’s community.”
  • In 2021, the University Advancement "hired the first Director of Development for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion."
Last updated March 29th, 2024
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