Commitment to diversity

Four students pose for their photo at the White Coat Ceremony

The College of Veterinary Medicine seeks to admit and educate a diverse student body to enrich the students' educational experience and prepare them to meet the veterinary needs of a multicultural society. We aim to satisfy the current and future needs of the profession while building on our programmatic strengths.

A platform of inclusion and success for all

Laura Molgaard
Laura Molgaard, Dean

CVM has no tolerance for discriminatory language or actions that create a hostile environment or that prevent each member of our community and our stakeholders from being respected and represented in our community of scholarship, learning, and work.

Our sincere and ongoing commitment to a framework emphasizing intercultural competence in our educational mission assures that the flow of innovation from such a multi-perspective environment will enhance the College's national and international reputation for discovery, high-quality research, and educational excellence.

Our diversity plan

Expand all

Definition of diversity

Diversity is human difference that impacts how we interact with one another, communities, institutions and ourselves. Diversity matters as we strive to develop and respect human potential, create a supportive, nurturing climate, and acknowledge legal and moral responsibilities to historical inequalities.

Diversity includes but is not limited to people of color (under-represented groups and new populations), people with both visible and invisible disabilities, people of various gender and sexual identities and expressions, and first generation students of economically disadvantaged backgrounds. We also address issues of access and climate for individuals who might encounter barriers based on their religious expression, age, national origin, ethnicity, or veteran status.


Excellence is inclusive. An increasingly multicultural society will continue to emerge over the coming decades and the reality of strengthening global interconnections demands that our College and graduates are able to effectively navigate the professional, social and ethical complexities of difference. As a College that is tasked with preparing future professional veterinarians and animal researchers, it is essential that those most intrinsic values and expectations meet the needs of a multicultural society and align with university and national goals around diversity and inclusion. Professional excellence is inextricably linked to the ability to engage with difference in productive and meaningful ways. In order for the College to meet this challenge, CVM must demonstrate a distinct, consistent and embracing respect for the inclusion, acceptance and success of all. To achieve an invested commitment to the goals of equity, diversity and inclusion, the College’s policies must be evaluated for historical and other forms of bias. An intentional and lasting foundation, based on the principles of equity and social justice, established in order to ensure cross-culturally aware and competent students, practitioners, staff and faculty must ground our way forward.

Our expectation in implementing the following diversity plan and intentional commitment to recruitment, hiring and funding, is that we will emerge as leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion among our disciplinary, institutional and professional peers.

Guiding values

  • CVM provides an environment and climate that fosters safety and academic and professional success for the CVM community and stakeholders. 
  • CVM actively seeks to intentionally build a campus community that reflects the diversity of our society and positions that diversity to effect change.
  • CVM understands that our world is a diverse and complex place; our faculty, staff, and students need to demonstrate cultural competence to be effective as citizens and professionals serving a multicultural and global community.
  • CVM believes that positive innovation is most likely to occur when multiple perspectives are present to produce knowledge and offer high quality education. Excellence is inclusive.
  • CVM is well-regarded nationally and internationally for its innovative, high quality research and education; we are well-positioned to provide leadership on diversity, equity, and inclusion among our disciplinary, institutional, and professional peers.
  • CVM demonstrates that diversity, equity, and inclusion goals are an ongoing institutional priority through a regular process of refinement, assessment and accountability.

Goal 1: Organizational composition - CVM's student body, faculty, and staff represents our society's diversity

Objective #1 - CVM's student body reflects the diversity of our society

  • Develop and implement effective strategies to recruit and admit diverse students, including development of recruitment goals
  • Designate funds to support application and tuition scholarships for diverse students 
  • Provide resources to engage and support success of diverse students (including mentoring, awareness of community resources, support of social and cultural needs)
  • Pedagogy and curriculum used in CVM reflects evidence-based best practices for fostering positive learning environments, academic progress and degree completion for students of diverse backgrounds.

Objective #2 - CVM's faculty reflects the diversity of our society

  • Develop and implement effective strategies, goals and support systems for recruiting, retaining, and advancing diverse faculty
  • CVM works with University resources for diversity and hiring, putting into practice strategies that aim to eliminate bias for hiring & retention
  • CVM establishes evidence-based practices for annual review, promotion and tenure that seek to eliminate bias and ensure equitable professional advancement of all faculty
  • CVM provides evidence based, effective mentoring for faculty from underrepresented backgrounds

Objective #3 - CVM's staff reflects the diversity of our society

  • Develop and implement effective strategies, goals and support systems for recruiting, retaining, and advancing diverse staff
  • CVM works with University resources for diversity and hiring, putting into practice bias eliminating strategies for hiring and retention
  • CVM provides evidence based, effective mentoring for staff from underrepresented backgrounds (e.g. 'big sibling' mentoring program)

Goal 2 : Organizational culture - Diversity and equity are a visible priority and cultural norm for CVM

Objective #1 - CVM's policies and practices foster and reward diversity and equity

  • Incentives and rewards are provided for contributions to diversity through merit and performance review processes as well as annual recognition programs
  • CVM creates a dedicated, adequate and sustainable annual budget to support and foster diversity and equity in all facets of organizational operations
  • CVM establishes a permanent office for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • CVM creates and operationalizes a five-year (to be assessed annually) comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan that identifies systems-level goals, with accompanying objectives, activities, measures of progress and necessary resources for complete implementation
  • CVM's promotion and tenure policies and processes will include formal requirements to advance diversity and equity for all faculty (language added to promotion and tenure documents)
  • Search and selection committees employ effective strategies to recruit diverse application pools and to avoid implicit bias
  • The CVM Diversity and Equity Committee regularly reports to the CVM community

Objective #2 - The importance of diversity and equity and related successes and activities are effectively communicated to the collegiate community and beyond

  • CVM creates and executes ongoing strategic communications focused on diversity and equity to its target audiences, including progress, wins, challenges, strategies and areas for improvement
  • CVM’s website will include a page on diversity and inclusion with linkages to appropriate resources
  • CVM's publications, social media and promotions demonstrate college-wide diversity and inclusion efforts
  • CVM will engage stakeholders in achieving our diversity and inclusion mission

Objective #3 - CVM makes an effective, ongoing investment in programs and curriculum that support training and development of its staff, faculty and students focused on inclusion, diversity, and equity

  • Ensure consistent training and development of departments, faculty and staff to increase intercultural competency of the collegiate community
  • Provide training, development and experiential learning opportunities to students that support the development of their intercultural competency skills
  • Collegiate employees are encouraged to participate in programs to build their intercultural competency and contribute to CVM's diversity mission 
  • The CVM hosts social events that more actively integrate our employees, students and faculty
  • Education Day becomes a forum for presenting initiatives and progress to the CVM
  • Curriculum committees assess classes to select those most ready or in need to incorporate diversity content and materials effectively
  • Faculty are provided support, tools and workshops to revise their syllabus to better reflect multiple perspectives and experiences and employ universal classroom design principles

Goal 3: Organizational reputation - CVM demonstrates leadership for its commitment to diversity and equity

Objective #1 - CVM establishes a national reputation for inclusion and equity

  • The DVM and post-graduate degree programs purposefully recruit from diverse populations nationally
  • The CVM establishes early decision partnerships with more HBCUs
  • A critical mass of training grants and fellowships support student diversity initiatives and are aggressively advertised nationally
  • Faculty and staff hiring committees emphasize diversity initiatives in their recruiting and selection processes
  • The CVM promotes efforts and successes at national veterinary meetings (AAVMC, etc.) via poster presentations and seminars
  • A review of CVM initiatives is published in an appropriate national forum such as J. Vet. Med. Educ.
  • CVM will present diversity initiatives to national and local audiences as appropriate

Objective #2 - CVM engages local audiences and stakeholders in our mission

  • CVM programs including SIRVS, VetTouch, and VetCAMP are adequately funded and proactively encourage diverse communities to consider veterinary careers
  • CVM seeks options for an early entry decision agreement with CFANS to be actualized for Animal Sciences majors from underrepresented populations
  • The DVM and post-graduate degree programs take full advantage of the Office for Diversity in Graduate Education resources and events
  • CVM engages University student groups in our mission to raise awareness of our goals
  • The Development Office reaches out to local private sector stakeholders to establish fellowships for diverse DVM, PhD and MS students
  • The CVM Compact Request includes support for diversity and equity initiatives