RD51 - Annual Report to the Virginia General Assembly of the Virginia Military Institute Board of Visitors for 2021

Executive Summary:

This Report for Calendar Year 2021 constitutes the annual report for the Virginia Military Institute’s Board of Visitors. It is submitted to the Virginia General Assembly and the Governor in accordance with § 23.1-1303 of the Code of Virginia. It provides an overview of the Board’s activities as is required. The Board is comprised of sixteen members nominated by the Governor of the Commonwealth along with The Adjutant General of Virginia, who is an ex officio member.

During this past year, the Board considered and addressed a wide variety of matters to include diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, naming VMI’s 15th Superintendent, COVID-19 pandemic challenges, fiscal and budgetary determinants, personnel subjects, and academic and athletic affairs. Amongst actions taken to ensure all related State legislative requirements were met, VMI continued to work through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on the safe return to normalized operations in the best interests of the Corps of Cadets, faculty, and staff. The Board devoted considerable time and attention to diversity, equity and inclusion topics. These efforts were supported by the Board’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Commemorations and Memorials Naming and Review Committees, in response to the Commonwealth’s audit of VMI’s diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. The Board’s Executive Committee, during a special meeting on 8 July 2021, voted to provide the Governor, General Assembly and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia quarterly reports detailing VMI’s progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. The vote coincided with Executive Committee adoption of the following Board principal diversity, equity and inclusion objectives:

• To create and foster a more diverse VMI.

• To create and foster a safe, equitable and inclusive environment for all on Post.

• To assure that we maintain a safe, rigorous process for escalating issues which have even the potential to violate the Code of a Cadet.

Following each meeting of the Board, detailed written minutes were publicly posted in accordance with Va. Code § 2.2-3707(H). Further details beyond this Report may be obtained from said minutes, located prominently on the VMI Board of Visitors website. All meetings were conducted pursuant to notice as required by Va. Code § 2.2-3707 (C). VMI’s legal counsel, from the Virginia Office of the Attorney General, attended Board meetings on invitation pursuant to Va. Code § 23.1-1303 (B).

By the authority vested in me by the VMI Board of Visitors, this Report is hereby tendered pursuant to § 23.1-1303 (B) of the Code of Virginia.

/s/ Mr. Thomas R. Watjen
President, VMI Board of Visitors