Elevating Diversity

“Virginia Tech to Reward Faculty For Diversity Efforts,” Sept. 21

Elevating Diversity

I congratulate the Virginia Tech administration for its courageous, correct and creative decision to require faculty to report on their diversity activities. Throughout my several-decade higher education career, I have argued that diversity activities cannot be viewed as those of a “gadfly” functioning on the margins. Rather, diversity must be addressed simultaneously with all of the institution’s other high priority business.

The Virginia Tech decision elevated diversity from tokenism to something deemed central to the functioning of a great university, especially since the relevant policy also had the approval of the University Council. Department heads and faculty personnel committees also review the faculty diversity reports. I suspect that this Virginia Tech program will become a touchstone once more institutions realize that academic excellence includes diversity.

— Dr. Jack L. Daniel
Professor, University of Pittsburgh  

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