Top administrators meet with NoNames for Justice activist leaders in closed session


No Names for Justice protesters walk into the executive offices in the Waterman building to meet with University President Tom Sullivan Feb. 26.

Leaders of student activist group NoNames for Justice are now in closed talks with administration in the executive offices in Waterman building.

The two parties entered talks after Arts and Sciences Dean Bill Falls signed NoNames’ letter to deans outlining the group’s requests, which include mandatory diversity training for faculty and increased retention of faculty of color.

UVM police services is stationed outside the door of executive offices, which are locked. UVM police services said the doors are locked and blocked “to give more space” for the talks going on inside. NoNames for Justice has organized a campus-wide class walkout for today at noon.

In an email to CAS students, Falls stated that he met with other deans and University President Tom Sullivan to discuss steps to take towards making campus more inclusive and diverse.

He is committed and will act immediately, Falls stated in the email.

Sullivan sent an email to the UVM community Feb. 26, the day that NoNames scheduled a walkout of all classes in continuation of their protests.

In the email, he stated that he and the deans agreed on action steps, as follows:

  • Provide required professional development for all faculty who teach D1/D2 courses. The training will focus on curriculum development and managing classroom conversations and interactions related to diversity.
  • Create a centralized position dedicated to assisting the colleges with the development and implementation of diversity-related curriculum, and required professional development of faculty for D1/ D2 faculty described above.
  • Create a centralized recruiter position to assist the colleges and divisions with developing diverse candidate pools for faculty and other national search processes, and provide sufficient financial and institutional resources to recruit, hire, and retain diverse faculty and staff.
  • Identify and provide continued support for the existing diversity-related positions in each academic unit.
  • Each college will formalize faculty-wide professional development in diversity and cultural competency, through faculty meetings, special seminars, or faculty retreats, and will continue to promote the importance and visibility of these sessions with faculty.

Every college is supportive of this plan, Sullivan stated in the email.