About us

Students walking near Cabell Library

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community in which people of all cultural backgrounds and life experiences are supported and valued. VCU has reinforced that commitment through its core values and mission statement and in our existing and future strategic plans.

Our institutional commitment is reflected in the establishment of VCU Inclusive Excellence in 2013 and the expansion of the program into the Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success in 2021. 

Diversity is among our greatest assets at VCU, and our effort to create and sustain an equitable and inclusive environment is the best approach toward leveraging this asset into universal excellence and success.

What we do

VCU's Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success is responsible for actualizing diversity initiatives that foster a welcoming community and support all individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veterans’ status and disability. This includes:

  • Promoting and fostering a climate of equity, diversity and inclusiveness
  • Leading efforts to strengthen VCU’s core mission and culture of inclusion and diversity
  • Engaging in promoting awareness and advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Providing diversity education and consultation to increase awareness, knowledge and skills
  • Serving as a campus and community resource on issues of access, diversity, excellence and inclusion

We work with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Human Resources and the Office of the Ombudsperson to address diversity issues.

Our programs and events include workshops, presentations and courses that enhance understanding of diversity. We also provide mentoring, seminars, consultation and professional development to support diverse faculty in securing external funding to advance their research agendas.


In 2019, VCU Inclusive Excellence underwent an internal reorganization, which resulted in a stronger infrastructure to support university strategic planning and implementation. This reorganization also created a greater alignment between the unit’s organizational capabilities and intended impact. The unit has made a decided shift from an activities-based model to a service-impact model that allows us to accurately locate tipping points for transformational change.

The expansion of VCU Inclusive Excellence into the Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success brought programming and services related to Equity and Access Services and Community Engagement into a cabinet-level department to facilitate coordination and increase impacts of these divisions.

The central focus across the next six years of the unit's lifespan will be how our work impacts a change in trajectory toward achieving the four themes that shape VCU's strategic plan, Quest 2025. These themes are:

  • Great Place: Parity and equity in the workplace
  • National prominence: Employing transformative curricula and research leading to program distinction 
  • Student success: Providing access and opportunity for all of our students 
  • Collective urban and regional transformation: Contributing to the health and vibrancy of urban communities

We are focused on making sure we engage you as often as appropriate in our ongoing pursuit of diversity, inclusion and excellence.