Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands will host an information forum on Virginia Tech’s initiative to advance and revitalize inclusion and diversity efforts on Monday, Sept. 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Latham Ballroom at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

All members of the campus community are invited to discuss the university’s commitments to inclusion and diversity, and provide input into the evolving organizational structure. The forum will include comments from Sands, Senior Vice President and Provost Mark G. McNamee and other university representatives.

Sept. 23, 2014 editor's update: Members of the Virginia Tech community who cannot attend the Sept. 29 forum in Blacksburg are invited to access the meeting via WebEx. Instructions follow:

The day before the forum:

  • Those who plan to join the forum via WebEx, please complete the following survey.
  • Test your computer before the meeting to be sure your computer has the necessary plugins to join the meeting. To test your computer, please follow the instructions on this PDF document.

The day of the forum:

  • The Inclusion and Diversity Information Forum will be online starting at 12:45 p.m. The meeting will be available on WebEx for approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • To access the meeting, select the following link to access the WebEx Meeting: Inclusion and Diversity Information Forum. Should you need it for reference, the meeting number is 643 053 079
  • If you are unable to join the meeting, you may contact WebEx support online or by phone: Online at WebEx Support or phone: 1-866-229-3239 (U.S. and Canada Toll-Free) or +1-408-435-7088 (International Toll)

The format will be round table discussions soliciting information and guidance regarding successful existing inclusion and diversity efforts and how the community can build upon those efforts.

Arrangements will be made for members of the Virginia Tech community who wish to attend the forum but are not located in Blacksburg. Specific instructions on how to attend online will be provided once arrangements are finalized. The forum also will be recorded and posted on the university website following the event. Information on how to access that recording will be included in the Virginia Tech News Daily Email and posted to the Virginia Tech News website at a later date.

As announced on June 30, 2014, the university’s inclusion and diversity initiatives will be led by a President’s Inclusion and Diversity Executive Council. The council, chaired by Sands, will guide, support, and be accountable for advancing inclusion and diversity initiatives throughout the university.

“This new organizational model is simply a scaffold; success in distinguishing Virginia Tech as the exemplar for the modern land-grant research university will only come with the efforts of every student, staff and faculty member to advance a bold and reinvigorated inclusion agenda,” said Sands in the June 30 announcement. “A commitment to inclusion as an integral and inseparable element of institutional excellence is a requisite characteristic for attracting talent, for assembling world-class research teams, and for fulfilling our engagement mission.”

“I am confident this new structure will help university leadership and representatives take personal and collective responsibility for inclusive excellence,” said Mark McNamee in the June 30 announcement.

The decision by President Sands to make these changes was based on the unanimous recommendations of the Task Force on Inclusive Excellence created last fall by former President Charles W. Steger.

Additional information on inclusion and diversity initiatives can be found on the Virginia Tech website.