Updates

Information Regarding the Investigation of VMI’s Culture



Published: June 7, 2021

Last week, alumni and friends of VMI received a series of emails from the VMI Board of Visitors, superintendent, and Alumni Agencies related to the investigation of VMI’s culture.


A Message from the VMI Board of Visitors

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 Maj. Gen. 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.

Mr. John W. Boland ’73
President
VMI Board of Visitors

Mr. Thomas R. Watjen ’76
President-elect
VMI Board of Visitors

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A Message from the Superintendent

Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85
Superintendent
June 1, 2021

Virginia Military Institute

VMI Community:

This afternoon, I received a briefing from the governor’s office and Barnes & Thornburg regarding the findings and recommendations of the commonwealth’s audit into VMI’s diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. I appreciate all the time and cooperation the VMI family has invested in this process.

Since my arrival, I have said there is no place at VMI for racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, or any other type of discrimination. During my time as superintendent, the Institute will be a place where each and every member of the Corps of Cadets, faculty, staff, and alumni feels a part of the VMI legacy regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, nationality, or orientation.

Over the past six months, I have spent countless hours listening to cadets, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni to better understand the culture of the Institute. I have done deep dives on the policies and procedures of the many offices and departments that help to carry out the VMI mission. As with any organization, there is always room for improvement. As such, I have compiled the unifying action plan to move the Institute forward. One Corps – One VMI focuses on five outcomes: 1.) Honor, 2.) Diversity and Inclusion, 3.) VMI Brand, 4.) Competing and Winning, 5.) One VMI.

Many of you have heard me talk about the five outcomes outlined in One Corps – One VMI. These outcomes will guide the tactical decisions of the Institute in the near term. Recommendations from the Barnes & Thornburg report will be evaluated through the lens of the VMI mission and our unique method of education, and, where appropriate, be integrated into the One Corps – One VMI plan.

I recognize the past few months have been difficult for many, divisive for some, and painful for others. This report and the One Corps – One VMI unifying action plan represent an opportunity for the VMI community to come together as brother rats, fellow cadets, alumni, and friends to make an already special place even more special. We cannot do this as a community of factions. VMI has a long history of improvement. Now is no different. The Institute will move forward and will be better because of this chapter in our history. I look forward to your continued support and involvement in this process.

Respectfully,

Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85
U.S. Army (Retired)
Superintendent
Virginia Military Institute

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A Message from VMI Alumni Agencies

VMI Family,

Earlier today, you received the VMI Board of Visitors’ initial response to their receipt of the final report related to the governor’s letter of Oct. 19, 2020. In that letter, the governor ordered a review of the culture of VMI as it pertains to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The commonwealth retained the law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP to conduct that review of the Institute. The Barnes & Thornburg report can be found here.

The VMI Alumni Agencies separately retained McGuireWoods LLP to assist us through this process. That assistance included the development of the Report on the Status and Future of the Institute.

We have shared this comprehensive report that includes data points associated with VMI’s value and culture with the Institute, members of the legislature, and media representatives in order to deliver the full context of VMI’s contribution to the commonwealth, our nation, and our world.

We are committed to supporting the Virginia Military Institute in its mission to develop leaders of character. Join us.

Stephen Maconi
Chief Executive Officer
VMI Alumni Agencies

Gerald J. Acuff Jr. ’71
President, VMI Keydet Club
Chairman, VMI Alumni Agencies Board

Stephen E. Hupp ’84
President
VMI Foundation

Samuel N. Stocks ’90
President
VMI Alumni Association

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