RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today joined statewide leaders in responding to a newly-released report on campus culture at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). The report, released today by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, concludes a nearly five-month independent investigation into equity on campus, after Governor Northam and legislative leaders called for an independent investigation last October. The investigation was funded by the General Assembly and conducted by Barnes and Thornburg, LLP from January to June 2021.
Governor Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, Attorney General Mark Herring, Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn, Senate President pro tempore Louise Lucas, Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus Lamont Bagby, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Luke Torian, Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, and Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke issued the following statement:
“Today, the Commonwealth and VMI received the highly detailed report examining the culture at the oldest state-supported military college in the United States.
“The investigation found that institutional racism and sexism are present, tolerated, and too often left unaddressed.
“While VMI has taken incremental steps forward since this review began, much more is needed. The question is whether VMI is willing to acknowledge this reality.
“The Commonwealth will study this report carefully and then take appropriate action. VMI would be wise to do so as well. VMI is an agency of state government, and we will hold it accountable.”