Statement of the VMI Board of Visitors, June 1, 2021
The Board of Visitors received a copy today of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s review into allegations of racism and gender issues at VMI. These are serious allegations and are being treated as such. VMI is not immune to the challenges all colleges face in this area, and there have been incidents on our campus which we have documented and shared as part of this investigation. Let us be clear though, this behavior has never been tolerated and, as an oversight board, we are committed to assuring every action is being taken to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for all at our school.
During the time this investigation has been ongoing, VMI has been busy taking action on many of the concerns that were identified earlier last year. While there is more to be done, these recent changes follow a history of taking steps to improve diversity, equity and inclusion at the Institute, and we expect to continue to do so.
From the start of this inquiry, we have been told by the governor and others on his staff that the report would be turned over to the Board of Visitors for our response. We are in the process of studying the report and will be developing an appropriate plan of action which is consistent with VMI’s mission and method of education. To that point, we are extremely confident in the direction set by Superintendent Major General Wins, and he has our full support as we navigate through these challenging times.
We remain steadfast in our belief that there has never been a greater need for the type of leaders produced by VMI. We are very proud of the 347 graduates who received their diplomas recently, and the many more that will follow, and confident that they will continue to make a mark on this world.
John William Boland ’73
President, VMI Board of Visitors
Thomas R. Watjen ‘76
President-elect, VMI Board of Visitors