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A joint message from Frank Shushok and Menah Pratt-Clarke regarding Cultural and Community Centers

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, one of the key goals of InclusiveVT is to advance “structures to promote a sustainable transformation” for diversity and inclusion at Virginia Tech. We know how much you value this kind of transformation — and understand how critical it is for our students, especially those who straddle the margins on a predominantly white campus.

We appreciate, too, that you embrace the notion that inclusion cannot be relegated to any single office, leader, or entity. Cultural and systematic change requires each and every one of us to be fully engaged in creating, nurturing, and sustaining an inclusive campus where every human understands, feels, and experiences their worth. We’ve made great progress, yet there is much work, honest conversation, and inward analysis that is required.

Over the past year, it has become evident that alignment of strategic diversity and inclusion resources could be improved, especially in how the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Cultural and Community Centers, and Faculty and Staff Caucuses provide important leadership for our campus. It is for this reason that Provost Clarke has asked that the Cultural and Community Centers shift reporting lines from Student Affairs to Diversity and Inclusion.

We (Menah Pratt-Clarke, Vice President for Strategic Affairs and Diversity, and Frank Shushok, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs) met with the Cultural and Community Centers staff on the afternoon of Jan. 13, and we’re grateful for the leadership they will provide in this transition. We will begin this shift immediately and conclude the administrative processes of this move by the conclusion of the spring semester.

While the Cultural and Community Centers will no longer report through Student Affairs, our commitment to students and inclusion remains unchanged. Diversity and inclusion is our work — and a partnership between the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and Student Affairs is essential to the well-being of students!

Please know how grateful we are for each of you, especially those in the Cultural and Community Centers who have been courageous leaders and contributors in Student Affairs. You remain our deeply admired colleagues and collaborators.

With hope,

Frank & Menah