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“Diversity is not only a numerical goal; there is a fluid progression that must be evaluated. Inclusion as a Strategy for Excellence, in the School of Medicine, is the recognition that the institution’s success is dependent on how well it values, engages, and includes diverse faculty, staff, students, patients, and suppliers. More than a short-term project or a narrow initiative, this comprehensive approach requires a fundamental transformation of the School’s culture by embedding and practicing inclusion in every effort, aspect, and level of the institution. The goal is to make inclusion a norm that is implemented and practiced.
The concept of Inclusion as a Strategy for Excellence within the School of Medicine is a departure from a simplistic definition of diversity to a more comprehensive, and omnipresent notion of inclusiveness that envelopes several ideologies. Inclusiveness and Excellence are interdependent, as opposed to the traditional perspective that separates the two concepts. To practice inclusiveness is a demonstration of excellence.
Our plan is to shift the responsibility for diversity and inclusiveness onto all administrators, faculty, staff,researchers, and students within the School of Medicine. This is in contrast to one unit or department shouldering the responsibility for diversity. A single department or person can guide the process, but every individual with the School, from the Dean to individual employees, assumes responsibility for change.
In effect, this will shift the School away from conceptualizing diversity solely as a numerical goal of diverse faculty, employees, vendors, and applicants to transforming the institution into a vibrant community that embeds the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan throughout the institution in multiple ways.
Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan throughout the institution includes demographics, policies, research, financial resources, leadership, hiring, organizational learning, organizational structure, marketing, outreach, technology, performance management, communications, promotion, assessment, and evaluation. This Plan employs a broad and inclusive definition of diversity that includes disability, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, race/ethnicity, nationality, and other social dimensions that are important for the School and academic medicine. The magnitude of inclusivity will impact faculty, staff, and students alike, and we can embed a more Diverse outlook onto the School of Medicine.”

Greg Townsend, MD
Associate Dean for Diversity


University Launches “Report a Barrier” Tool

To all faculty and staff in the Academic Division:

We are pleased to announce that the University has launched Report a Barrier, a new online tool designed to help the UVA community report barriers that would prevent an individual with disabilities from equally accessing and engaging with opportunities on the Grounds.

The University is committed to ensuring that our academic programs, University-sponsored events, and University facilities and Grounds in Charlottesville are accessible to all. Examples of barriers might include an inaccessible website or classroom materials, an inoperative elevator, a blocked access ramp, the need for a curb cut, or other obstacles.

Once a report is submitted, the Report a Barrier (RAB) team will route the information appropriately. If you submit your email address along with the report, you will receive updates on the steps taken to resolve your issue. The RAB team includes representatives from the following University offices:

  • Office of Equal Opportunity Programs
  • Executive Vice President & Provost
  • Student Disability Access Center
  • Facilities Management
  • Information Technology Services
  • Parking & Transportation

For more information and a list of accessibility resources at UVA, please visit this site. If you have questions about this new initiative, please email.

Safety and accessibility remain top University priorities. Thank you for joining in these efforts to make our environment as welcoming and safe as possible for everyone.


heed 2015