President’s Action Group on Diversity & Inclusion

President’s Action Group on Diversity & Inclusion (PAGDI)

The president has appointed a five-member group to oversee and coordinate the timely implementation of these executive initiatives. They are responsible for providing strategic input and institutional resources to support diversity and inclusion goals. They will also take steps to make long-term, sustainable changes.

These include:

  • Exploring the creation or expansion of supported community spaces for the campus community to interact and engage in difficult dialogues.
  • Developing plans to help faculty and staff search committees attract a more diverse pool of applicants, and to hold hiring officers more accountable.
  • Exploring ways to make VCU’s curriculum more inclusive on all levels. This includes reviewing our UNIV 100 course.
  • Making our student support services, including counseling, more culturally competent.
  • Revisiting and revising diversity action plans within individual units.
  • Offering consulting, mentoring, and short- and long-term training to help faculty and staff members develop expertise in inclusive teaching. This includes expanding the Inclusive Teaching Institute.
  • Responsible for providing strategic input and institutional resources to support diversity and inclusion goals.

 The members include: 

  • Gail Hackett, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

  • Marsha Rappley, Ph.D., Vice President for Health Sciences and VCU Health Systems CEO

  • Laura Walsh Rugless, Director of Equity & Access Services and Title IX Coordinator

  • Cathleen Burke, Associate Vice President for Human Resources

  • Pam Lepley, Vice President of University Relations 


  • J R Hipple, President of SIR Communications

  • Rosalyn Hargraves, Ph.D., Special Assistant for Inclusive Excellence and Assessment; Associate professor, School of Education; Associate professor, School of Engineering

Alternate members include:

  • Katherine Bassard, Ph.D., Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
  • Kevin Harris, Associate Vice President for Academic Health Sciences 


PAGDI Advisory Board

Provide insight and input to help create, shape, and strengthen VCU’s efforts to advance inclusion, equity, and diversity & help PAGDI effectively collaborate with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community groups on this work.

Members of the Advisory Board include over 30 representatives from Rainbow Rams, African American Alumni Council, Latino Alumni Council, Board of Visitors Student Representatives, Equality VCU, Black Educators Association, Black VCU Speaks, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Government Association, and various student leaders from student organizations.