The understanding of history is necessary for the construction of the future. Below you will find a history of diversity at UVM, the Allen House History, and CCP History.
Allen House History
History of the House
The Allen House was built in 1838. The house had three private owners for nearly one hundred years until the Allen family sold the house to UVM in 1936. The house has been used as both a women's and a men's dormitory and as the Luse Canter for Communication Sciences and, in 1997 was designated the Center for Cultural Pluralism.
Focus of 1998
UVM has owned this house for the last 60 years. During that time, substantial renovations have taken place, much of which destroyed the antique features of the house. Moreover, the house has suffered significant structural damage due to natural aging and weather. The focus of our renovations in 1998 was to restore as much as possible of the original design and architecture to this 160-year-old mansion.
The entire first floor is fully handicapped accessible, including all interior door access, water fountains and kitchen appliances.
First Floor, Offices and Community Space
• First Floor Lounge
• The French Family Classroom
• Staff Grievance Coordinator
• Dining Room
• Dean of the
• Assistant to Dean of
Second Floor, Administrative Offices
• Graduate Assistant
• Multicultural Library
• Assistant to the CCP Director
• Director, CCP
• Conference Room
• LGBTQA Director
• LGBTQA Administrative Assistant
3rd Floor, Student Organizations and Community Spaces
• Meditation Room
• Multipurpose Room
• UVM Hillel
History of the Center
for Cultural Pluralism
The Center for Cultural Pluralism has been an UVM institution for many years. Originally a sub-section of Minority Affairs in Student Life, CCP moved to the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Later, when the Office of Multicultural Affairs became the ALANA Student Center, CCP was located under this umbrella. Eventually, in 1997, the Allen house was designated as the Center for Cultural Pluralism, and in 1998 the Center became a separate institution located within Allen House. We are now part of the Equity and Diversity Unit that reports to the Special Advisor to the Provost. The major role of CCP is to:
• Serve as a
resource of information to UVM and the local community
• Organize educational events/programs/classes to raise awareness
• Act as consultants for programs or individuals seeking to either transform their curriculum or implement organizational change
• Co-facilitate events to increase dialogue across cultural groups and collaboration across disciplines to improve critical thinking and overall climate
• Seek grants & endowments
The work of the Center could not be done without the support of the dedicated staff, work study students, House Members and peers in the Equity and Diversity Unit. In addition, we have received constant support from Asian Studies, ALANA Coalition, Bailey-Howe Library, Center for Teaching and Learning, University Training and Development and University Dining Services.
History of Diversity
at UVM: An Overview of Selected Key Events
9300 B.C.: Archaeologists date Missisquoi Abenaki in northwestern Vermont to this time. Until the European invasion, the Missisquoi had dominion over this area.
1609: Samuel de Champlain "discovers" the lake that will later bear his name.
1761: The British Crown decrees that land shall not be appropriated from the "Indians" and that any land so taken must be returned. These proclamations are not obeyed.
1765: The Missiquoi negotiate a 91-year lease of land with a Canadian merchant. The land is never recovered.
1777: The Republic of Vermont declares its independence, and over several years passes laws giving itself rights to lands. These do not mention aboriginal title. The state’s constitution specifies that "all men are born equally free and independent."
1791: Ira Allen promises over £4,000 and procures charter for the University of Vermont in Burlington. Classes do not begin for another decade. Allen ultimately reneges on his financial pledge. He still gets a statue on the green and a chapel named after him.
1777: Vermont outlaws slavery in its constitution.
1800s: During the early 1800s, Vermont played a vital role in the Underground Railroad by helping escaped slaves make their way to freedom. Escaped slaves traveled through Vermont to Canada via two "trunks" of the Underground Railroad. Montpelier was the most active station on the loosely organized, secret network of people, but Burlington had the largest number of identified conductors on the railroad.
1933 April 1: Vermont Governor Stanley Wilson signed into law "An Act for Human Betterment by Voluntary Sterilization" seeking to control the population of the "feeble-minded.""Henceforth it shall be the policy of the state to prevent procreation of idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded or insane persons," the law read, in part.
Passage of the Vermont bill was dependent upon the support of, among others, U.S. District Court Judge Harland B. Howe, and Henry Perkins, a professor of zoology at the University of Vermont. Perkins was the first director of the Fleming Museum (1931–1945), and the founder in 1925 of the Eugenics Survey of Vermont.
The thrust of eugenics, named by Charles Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton, was to "improve" and manipulate the human gene pool by weeding out those deemed undesirable. "Eugenics is the study of agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally," Galton wrote.
A Brief History of
Student Protest the University of Vermont
1984 Spring: The faculty senate pledged agreement with affirmative action and diversity. It also requested the administration to impose sanctions on deans, chairpersons, and search committees that failed to recruit minority and women faculty members.
One outcome of the faculty deliberations was the Minority Incentives Program to subsidize departmental searches for minority faculty, providing up to $20,000 for advertising, travel, and other associated costs. While welcoming such a program, detractors call it tokenism. Professor Laura Fishman: "Notice, they are visiting scholars, blacks coming and going, but not staying."
1987 October: The UVM Record headline reads, "Intense drive vowed to attract minorities to UVM community." President Lattie Coor in his remarks to the Faculty Senate on September 16, 1987 stated, "It is not acceptable not to have greater diversity within the ranks. We will commit financial support and enhance programs. We will not (merely) throw money at the problems, but will find the resources."
1988 20 March: UVM Coalition Forms.
Citing similar difficulties in dealing with the UVM administration, representatives and members of six UVM minority and women’s rights groups have come together in an unprecedented coalition effort. The participants in two recent meetings feel that ethnic minorities, women, and others excluded from the mainstream of University life need to form a "united front" to demand reforms from the UVM administration. The as-yet-unnamed coalition seeks to draw together the member’s of oppressed people’s groups including the Asian-American Student Union (AASU), the Black Student Union (BSU), the Cultural Connection, the Disabled Student Union (DSU), the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Alliance (GLBA), and the Women’s Organization and Resource Center (WORK).
1988 17 April: Waterman Takeover.
Students occupy UVM administration building demanding commitment to a larger minority presence on campus.
1988 22 April: Waterman Agreement Signed.
Protest ends with President Lattie Coor’s agreeing to a timeline for hiring minority faculty and recruiting more minority students.
1988–89: Race & Culture Class developed, implemented on a limited basis (excerpts from the President’s statement below, for the entire text click here).
1989 27 December: UVM President Lattie Coor resigns.
1990 14 July: George Davis appointed UVM President.
1990 Fall: Davis refuses to sign Waterman agreement, agrees to sign alternative plan.
1991 January: President Davis announces he will not sign alternative plan.
1990–91 Academic Year: Increased incidents of racial tensions on campus.
1991 22 April: Second Waterman Takeover
Twenty-two students take over the president’s office in the University of Vermont’s Waterman Building and issue 18 demands for greater racial awareness and presence on campus. Hundreds of students gather in support. A personal perspective offered in an essay written by eight of the students who occupied the president’s office in May 1991: Karl Jagbanhandsingh, Christina Keith, David Kim, John Kusakabe, Lynn Pono, Lisa Razo, Allen Urgent, and Josh Mitsuo Weiner.
April 23: UVM President George Davis climbs a ladder to his office several times to talk to the occupying students. He delays deadlines for the students to take down barricades.
April 24: Davis announces force will not be used to end the occupation and he will not negotiate during the occupation.
April 25: Hunger strike begins
May 3: Hunger strike ends
May 9: Davis says, "the nature of the occupation," of his offices has changed and announces he can no longer rule out the use of force.
May 10: Student supporters of the protesters begin construction of Diversity University—a collection of tents and shanties the group says will be the site of alternative education courses to make up for UVM’s lack of cultural diversity.
May 12: A pre-dawn raid by 56 police officers results in the arrest of eight students and one faculty member in Davis’ office. Eleven more are arrested outside the Waterman Building.
1991 14 May: Four UVM shuttlebuses destroyed by fire.
1991 Summer: Classes held in Diversity University.
Internal trials of seventeen students held, resulting in fines & probation, with questions as to validity of hearings, two of the students expelled, academic reasons.
Diversity University students say they are maintaining 24-hour security watches over their "campus" because of threats.
1991 16 June: New UVM Provost Dalmas Taylor meets with Diversity University students. Davis has said Taylor, who is black, was offered the job as UVM’s No. 2 academic official before the takeover of his offices.
1991 04 August: Citing the threats and a concern for the safety of students, Davis announces curfew at Diversity University structure between 12 AM–6 AM.
1991 18 August: Vandals level Diversity University. The shacks are rebuilt a day later, with UVM’s help. Eventually, a sizeable and relatively conventional building is constructed.
1991 19 August: Diversity University rebuilt, twenty-four hour watch arranged by students.
1991 05 September: With tensions on campus still running high over the issue of cultural diversity, the administration has taken steps to smooth race relations on campus. A Board of Trustees resolution has established a new program that combines both an executive committee and forums open to the entire UVM community. It is their hope that this proposal will help in attaining common diversity objectives.
The first step is the creation of an Institutional Diversity Committee. This committee will explore options that promote diversity on campus. Metivier-Redd hopes that it will consist of members from all facets of the university, including trustees, alumni, administration, faculty, staff, and students. The second part of the program consists of open forums that the entire campus and community are invited to attend. "It’s a vehicle for people to safely express their feelings and opinions about diversity," said Metivier-Redd.
Many students, including ones directly involved with Diversity University (DU) are skeptical about the new proposal. "It’s not a plan to do anything. It’s a plan to plan," said Christy Keith, a member of DU. "Maybe it’s a therapeutic thing, but the fact is that they’re not doing anything."
Karl Jagbandhansingh, another DU student, said he felt the committee was just a way for UVM to "alleviate white guilt. I don’t want to say it’s doomed from the start; I think there are possibilities. I’ve tended to become a little cynical though," he said. "I’ve yet to see an administrative committee about cultural diversity, set up by the administration, accomplish anything," said Jagbandhansingh.
1991 23 September: Over 50 students protesting the expulsion of two students involved in the spring takeover at Waterman stage a noon sit-in at Davis’ office. Police are summoned. One student arrested inside, six outside, and policy against such sit-ins announced.
1991 26 September: Sit-in in President’s office to challenge new policy, no arrests. Fifty students protest at Waterman’s presidential wing. The sit-in ends at 4:30 P.M. without arrests.
1991 Fall: Increased incidents of attacks and harassment of multi-cultural students.
1991 12 October: A UVM student and friend from Maine say they were held hostage for more than four hours by Diversity University students after being caught throwing a beer bottle that broke a shanty window. Diversity University students report hate crime, but instead face possible kidnapping charges that are later dropped.
1991 21 October: Davis resigns, citing a lack of support for his leadership.
1991 23 October: Chittenden County State’s Attorney William Sorrell announces his office will not prosecute Diversity University students because the matter is too trivial.
1991 02 November: Former Vermont Governor Thomas Salmon, named interim president by UVM trustees, gives no immediate indication of how he will handle the diversity protest, but says he, "will not be climbing any ladders."
1991 23 November: Diversity University is burned by an arsonist. President Salmon declares that no more such structures will be built until a policy on "symbolic structures" is developed.
1992 16 January: Karl Jagbandhansingh acquitted on trespassing charge of 23 September
1992 Spring: In the Spring of 1992, an article in The Gadfly outlines the continuing anti-racist struggle on campus.
1992 13 August: Provost Dalmas Taylor resigns.
1993 15 March: A report is released by the Vermont Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights examining campus tensions in Vermont.
1993 29 May: Anthony Chavez of Burlington is the new director of the University of Vermont Office of Multicultural Affairs, filling the position he has held on an interim basis since the Rev. Rodney Patterson left in February. Along with managing the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Chavez plans outreach activities for prospective ALANA students visiting campus and directs recruitment and retention programs for multiracial students. He also raises funds and writes grants for ALANA scholarships and multicultural enrichment programming.
1993 28 July: Forty multicultural students are studying and researching at the University of Vermont this summer in the 13-year-old Summer Enrichment Scholarship Program, the 8-year-old Research Apprentice Program, and the new Vermont Initiative for Summer Intensive Training.
1993 21 December: The Commission on Racial Justice and Multicultural Education is charged "to serve as the principal group for planning, implementing and monitoring campus efforts in the area of racial equality and justice." This Commission is comprised of 22 students, staff and faculty and is a result of five years of work by various committees convened to look at issues of racial inequality and injustice. These committees included the Coalition of Institutional Diversity, the McCrorey Structure Committee, and the Interim Commission on Racial Equality and Justice.
1994 02 June: Robert Low, the interim University of Vermont provost for the past two years, has been named to the permanent post following a yearlong search that attracted dozens of candidates from throughout the country. Low said his enthusiasm stems from his firm belief in the outcomes of the ongoing strategic planning process. He played a major role in the President’s Commission on Critical Choices that helped craft a vision for the university’s future. "Our course has been set, but there still is much to be accomplished through stable pursuit of the objectives and goals we have put before us," said Low. "I look forward very much to working with President Salmon and the university community to meet the challenge."
1994 Fall Semester: The newly appointed Commission on Racial Justice and Multicultural Education was charged with creating a job description for an Executive Officer. In November 1994, the Commission began formulating the position description and forwarded their recommendations to the Provost, Robert Low. Subsequently, suggestions for change from the Provost’s office were incorporated and the position description was re-submitted, with the title and structure reflecting clear accountability to the Commission.
1994 13 October: UVM officials and Burlington community members meet to discussing hiring practices of the state’s largest school and one of the area’s largest employers. Community people at the meeting said the school needed to hire and keep minority faculty and administrators, and not just inflate their numbers with lower-level jobs.
1994 30 October: State investigation initiated into UVM hiring practices regarding minorities.
1994 December 5: A federal commission updating its report on racial tensions at the University of Vermont and Middlebury comes on the heels of a state investigation into the minority hiring practices at UVM.
A November 1992 draft of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission’s report said both institutions needed to work on racial equality on campus. The federal commission’s report is part of an investigation into racial tension on the nation’s campuses.
1995 03 February: Eric Abercrumbie, an educator in cultural diversity on U.S. campuses, is on campus for a four-day visit. Abercrumbie, director of Ethnic Programs and Services and the African-American Culture and Research Center at the University of Cincinnati, is an expert on African-American concerns. He originated the Black Man’s Think Tank, a yearly gathering that addresses key issues in the African-American experience.
Last spring, Abercrumbie was enthusiastically received in a visit to UVM. As part of his next visit on Feb. 16-19, he will meet with campus groups and university leaders on issues of racism and equality in higher education. His visit is being sponsored by the UVM Commission on Racial Equality & Multicultural Education, Training & Development, and the New Black Leaders.
1995 04 February: UVM Trustee’s order increase diversity. The Board of Trustees directed President Thomas P. Salmon and its new chair, Edward Zuccaro, to develop a strategic plan for increasing diversity at UVM. In a resolution adopted on Saturday, February 4, the board ordered the two officials to set goals and timetables for attracting students, faculty, staff and administrators who will make the campus more diverse and for ensuring they will stay. The resolution directs Salmon to make an initial progress report to the board in May and a more comprehensive one in May 1996.
1995 29 March: Racially motivated death threats against 5 African-American female students investigated by UVM. The University failed to notify the FBI of the death threats.
1995 31 March: ALANA students in a March 31 open forum recounting the pains of attending a predominately white UVM and demanded that the campus confront the racism they say is widespread here and in the Burlington community. The noontime event, "A Call to Action: UVM Community Meeting: Improving the State of Race Relations" was sponsored by the Commission on Racial Equality and Multicultural Education. It was held in response to the incidents on campus in February and early March in which people of color received notes containing death threats and racial slurs.
President Salmon’s response to the forum is published in The UVM Record.
1995 20 April: Donald Grinde named Director of UVM's new ALANA (African-, Latino-, Asian- and Native-American) Studies Program.
1995 Spring: During Spring Break, a job posting for the Executive Officer which significantly altered the nature and intent of the original position (changing it to a position responsible for "diversity" with no clear accountability to the Commission) was advertised nationally. After Commission protest and on the recommendation of the search committee, the search was halted with the understanding that it would resume Fall 1995.
1995 12 May: The UVM African-American faculty presents a resolution to the Board of Trustees calling for the university to remove references to the university being an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer until such time as this is actually the case. The resolution documents the "breadth and depth of the problem" including the fact that after having eight tenured African-American faculty, in one year hence there will be only two left on campus.
1995 15 June: Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Anthony Chavez, is fired for alleged financial mismanagement. A complete story was compiled by The Cynic for it’s September 14, 1995 issue.
1995 26 June: A press conference is held with eight UVM students representing students of color and white students denouncing the university’s decision to fire Anthony Chavez.
1995 30 June: UVM students rally and speak out to protest firing of Anthony Chavez, an outspoken advocate for students of color on campus. ALANA students draft the ALANA Student Bill of Rights which is presented at the speak out. The President refuses to sign off on the Bill of Rights but agrees to work with students to come to agreement over a final version.
1995 August 18: At a UVM Board of Trustees meeting, President Salmon said that the school is determined to bolster diversity on campus with two major goals being to increase the number of out-of-state minority students and to continue to monitor the number of in-state minority student enrolled.
1995 28 August: Formation of the Graduate Student Coalition for Racial Justice/UVM Alumni calls for a boycott of contributions to UVM until some "marked change arrives in UVM policy, action and structure." By the beginning of January 1996, more than 50 individuals have joined the Coalition.
1995 Fall Semester: A transition team for the Commission on Racial Justice and Multicultural Education reviewed the history of the Executive Officer position over the summer and forwarded its recommendations to Provost Robert Low. A meeting was called by the Provost to discuss his intentions regarding this position. The Provost stated he planned to move forward with the search using the same position description that resulted in the halted search the year before. Additionally, the position would be funded with sources currently allocated to the Commission, with only carryover funds left for the Commission use. The original intentions of this position were re-iterated and the Provost was informed the Commission would not participate in the search.
1995 06 October: About 100 students protest hate graffiti at UVM. Swastikas and racial, ethnic and homophobic slurs were found written in a variety of places across campus.
1995 08 November: UVM has established the H. Lawrence McCrorey Collection and Gallery of Multicultural Art at the Bailey/Howe Library. McCrorey´s 27-year career at UVM was marked by outstanding teaching and moral leadership. He regularly commented and lectured on racism and the value of multicultural education, both at the university and in schools and forums throughout Vermont.
1995 09 November: The UVM Campus community including staff, students, and faculty receive a campus mailing from the Commission on Racial Justice and Multicultural Education outlining the history of the position of Executive Officer and informing the community that the Commission will not participate in the search process.
1995 10 November: Provost Robert Low disbands UVM Commission on Racial Justice and replaces it with a self-appointed advisory board. University public relations announces this change as part of an overall "diversity plan" of Provost Robert Low. Low said, "The commission’s current structure, which I approved last year, has not led to the collaborative and inclusive perspective necessary to fully involve the campus community. While the commission has made some positive contributions, it is my belief that at this time we need a new approach to help us move forward collectively with these important efforts. I have heard from numerous members of our community who confirm this view."
1995 13 November: An Associated Press article quotes Leon Lawrence saying that the decision to disband the Commission was necessary for the university to move forward on cultural diversity.
1995 01 December: African-American and Mohegan student, Shontae Praileau, begins a hunger strike of no solid foods to protest what she calls the administration’s insensitivity to minorities.
1995 09 December: More than 40 UVM students fast for one day in solidarity with Shontae Praileau. A group of about 50 students (mainly white) marched from the campus library to the president’s office dropping off canned goods they labeled "food for thought." This is the first time that the local media cover the eight-day hunger strike of Shontae Praileau.
1995 13 December: The UVM President’s Commission on the Status of Women sends a memorandum to the President expressing their disapproval of the disbanding of the Commission on Racial Justice and Multicultural Education stating that the action was "seriously exacerbating an already difficult situation" on campus.
1996 15 January: UVM President receives a letter from the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS)—a black studies institution that represents the vast majority of black scholars—imposing sanctions against UVM because of the "disastrous" handling of the situation with Shontae Praileau and past history of racism at UVM.
1996 17 January: As a result of Maneshkona Shontae Praileau’s hunger strike, a national movement begins. A Pledge of Resistance Against Institutionalized Racism in Amerikkkan Higher Education calls for students nationwide to join together to "call prolonged attention to this National Disgrace which Maneshkona has named in Vermont and which students of color across the country continue to wage struggle against at great personal expense." Support for Shontae comes from around the world once word gets out over the internet.
1996 25 January: Returning from holiday break, several white students and community people stage a protest in front of the President’s residence while he is holding a gathering for faculty. The students are protesting the administrations lack of response to Shontae Praileau’s hunger strike which is now in it’s 50th day.
1996 29 January: The Faculty Women’s Caucus sends a letter to the Provost expressing their "grave concern" over the current state of affairs at the University.
1996 04 January: President Salmon sends a memorandum to the Board of Trustees regarding Shontae Praileau’s hunger strike stating that she has a "separatist philosophy." A copy of this memorandum is NOT delivered to Ms. Praileau.
1996 01 February: At a gathering of 250 students, Praileau ends her hunger strike, saying she is satisfied with the awareness she has raised about the need for an "anti-racist agenda" at UVM. Via the internet, Shontae’s message received widespread support and response came from as far away as India and Malaysia and from across the United States and Canada.
1996 04 February: The Boston Globe prints a story of Shontae Praileau’s hunger strike and UVM racism.
1996 13 February 13: The UVM Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Alliance sends a memorandum to the Provost calling attention to the Provost’s, "actions which have repeatedly ignored and undermined the ALANA community. From disbanding the Commission on Racial Justice and Multicultural Education to your silence regarding the hunger strike of Shontae Praileau to the lack of implementation regarding the ALANA Student Bill of Rights to numerous other acts of overt and covert racism on your part and the part of other UVM administrators."
1996 February: Throughout the month of February (Black History Month), two people will be on "cyclic hunger strikes" during any given 24-hour period. Kei Kurihara, begins a cyclic hunger strike with three days of fasting observed, and the fourth day allowing for the consumption of solid food, followed by three more days of fasting.
1995 March: The National Coalition of Students Resisting Racism is announced as a, "multi-racial coalition of college and university students struggling to dismantle racism on a national level." A National Board of Directors consisting of student trustees will be formed to serve as a clearinghouse for information, local and national organizing and as a central location for inquiries and activism.
1996 04 March: UVM Faculty Women’s Caucus presents a vote for censure of the President and Provost to be voted on at an upcoming Faculty Senate Meeting. This is followed-up with additional background information for the UVM community. President Salmon responded with a memorandum to the UVM Faculty that provided his response to the resolution because he will be out of town on an important development trip when the censure vote is taken.
1996 13 March: The Burlington Free Press reports that President Salmon survives the censure vote (100-87) and reports that it is the "first censure vote in at least 25 years." The article quoted Associate Professor Laura Fishman as saying, "If we end up voting not to censure, then we as a community are saying loud and clear that we like being the whitest state in the country." After the vote, she was reported as saying, "It’s exactly what I said."
1996 15 March: A letter is mailed to President Salmon from the Dr. William A. Little, Ph.D., President, National Council for Black Studies which states, "The National Council for Black Studies met on March 9th and 19th, 1996 and reviewed information regarding recent events on your campus involving Ms. Maneshkona-Shontae Praileau, and communications between you and Dr. Raymond Winbush, a member of our Board.
After extensive discussions on developments on your campus the Committee decided that NCBS should seek to lend its good offices toward a peaceful, just and conciliatory resolution of the situation, and help the university create an atmosphere of inclusive multiculturalism.
1996 29 April: Annie Allen has been appointed as the University of Vermont’s Executive Officer for Cultural Pluralism and Racial Equality. She brings extensive professional, management and administrative experience in this area from her work in higher education and other non-profit organizations. As the Executive Officer for Cultural Pluralism and Racial Equality at UVM, Allen will have a leadership role in formulating policy, setting priorities and implementing an action plan for the institution. The executive officer is expected to help form collaborative partnerships, translate policy and ideas into concrete actions and bring people of all cultures and backgrounds together as a community.
Allen will be involved in the implementation of curricular programs and initiatives, the development and refinement of plans to increase faculty, staff and student diversity, and in the application of methods to improve the racial climate. She is scheduled to begin her new job on June 1.
1996 30 April: NCBS has (as of this date) not received a reply from President Salmon or anyone at UVM regarding NCBS offer of assistance.
1996 03 May: University of Vermont Provost Robert B. Low today announced he will resign from his position as provost effective June 30, 1996. He plans to return full-time to his teaching and research activities in the College of Medicine. Low has served as interim provost and provost since 1992. Salmon stated that he will soon appoint an advisory committee to assist him in identifying an interim provost, in anticipation of an appointment by July 1,1996.
1996 05 May: Comprehensive report delivered to the UVM Board of Trustees in response to the resolution of February 04, 1995 directing the President and Board Chair to produce a strategic plan for increasing diversity at UVM.
1996 29 May: Leon Lawrence named Interim Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, June 1 through June 20, 1998. Recently Lawrence served as special assistant to the President for Diversity.
1996 28 June: Gerald P. Francis named interim provost beginning July 1, 1996. Dr. Francis was also interim provost during the 1991 Waterman takeover prior to Dr. Dalmas Taylor.
1996 09 July: Personal communication to Judy A. Ashley from Dr. Raymond Winbush, National Council for Black Studies, reveals that President Salmon never responded to their letter of March 14, 1996.
1996 17 August: The Burlington Free Press (August 17, 1996) top story highlights diversity progress at UVM including the approval of a "new academic program studying racial minorities in America." The program will begin in the fall as an 18-credit minor study and is headed by Donald Grinde.
The new Provost, Gerald Francis, informed the trustees that the way to attract more students of color is to "raise admissions standards." To quote the Free Press, "He says higher academic quality will make the school more attractive to all students, especially students of color looking for a competitive edge in the job market."
Regarding the issue of enrollment of ALANA students this fall, only three (3) more students of color will be among this year’s incoming class than there were last year. There will be a total of 88 first year students of color out of an incoming class of 1,850. The Free Press reports that, "Board of Trustee Chairman Richard Dennis has asked for an official inquiry as to why the earlier estimate of 10 to 20 students was so inaccurate."
1994 to present: A partial list of reported incidents of racism, homophobia, sexism, and anti-Semitic incidents at UVM from 1994 until Spring 1998.
07 October 1997: In Concord, Vermont police investigate a cross burning on the lawn of an African-American man.
17 October 1997: In her inaugural speech UVM’s 24th President, Judith A. Ramaley, stated, "Both UVM and the people of Vermont have a serious challenge. We must confront a form of racism that is especially difficult to manage because so many of us don’t even understand that we have a problem."
10 November 1997: Three hundred faculty, staff and students participated in the second annual "Building Our Community: Dismantling Racism at UVM" learning day November 7 offering 23 workshops. President Ramaley delivered her remarks about the "difficult form of racism" she sees at UVM.
Ramaley has asked members of the ALANA coalition—an organization of UVM African, Latino, Asian, and Native Americans, primarily faculty, staff and graduate students—to design an advisory and resource group. The new organization would work with the president, the provost and the Board of Trustees, she said, to create an inclusive environment where all participants are "equally welcome, equally valued and equally heard."
After the workshops, participants divided into small groups to develop steps toward building a non-racist community at UVM.
14 November 1997: University administrators are working to streamline the process by which bias-related incidents are reported at UVM. "Residential Life has a protocol, and now it has been enhanced to publicize such incidents far more widely," said Annie Allen, Executive Director for Cultural Pluralism and Racial Equality. Administrators now are looking into ways to inform the entire campus community about incidents—including those outside of the residence halls.
"ALANA students say that this is a hostile environment," Allen said, "At the same time, many people on campus do not recognize or see that this is a problem. So if we bring these incidents to public attention, it will help inform the community of what the real climate is."
21 November 1997: A University of Vermont fraternity has been placed under suspension in connection with an alleged hazing incident, Vice President for Student Affairs Dean Batt today announced.
The local Acacia chapter, located at 404 College St., will have to cease all functions—including meetings, pledge activities, and social events—as a result of the temporary suspension, while an investigation of the alleged incident takes place.
Batt said that Student Affairs officials were notified this morning that Acacia pledges were participating in a scavenger hunt in which they were asked to insult a student of color.
01 December 1997: Geoffrey L. Gamble, currently a top administrator at Washington State University (WSU), has been named as the University of Vermont’s next provost. UVM President Judith A. Ramaley today announced Gamble’s appointment to the post as the university’s chief academic officer and number-two administrator. The provost reports directly to the president and is responsible for broad oversight and planning of the university's academic, budgetary and administrative functions.
02 December 1997: Members of Acacia, a University of Vermont fraternity, apologized to the victim of a hazing incident last month, saying the event was a misunderstanding and had no racial intent.
In a four-page letter to Batt, fraternity members tried to explain what happened Nov. 19. As part of a scavenger hunt, pledges were asked to spoof tensions between Iraq and the United States by photographing a pledge giving an obscene gesture to a person from Iraq.
"Our intention was in no way racially motivated," fraternity members wrote. "Although our intentions were not to harass or demean any individuals, the actions obviously did."
03 December 1997: UVM Rally and Speak-out Against Racism: In light of the overt acts of racism and other bigotry on campus SPARC and various other student groups held a rally and speak out against racism.
03 & 09 December 1997: The Burlington Free Press publishes two editorials condemning Vice President Dean Batt’s handling of the Acacia incident.
07 February 1998: Students of color vented their frustrations about inaction to the Board of Trustees Student Activities Committee. They lamented how discriminatory incidents against them persist and that no one has led the Office of Multicultural Affairs permanently since Anthony Chavez was fired in 1995.
07 February 1998: UVM Board of Trustees endorses Our Common Ground.
08 February 1998: UVM suspends Acacia for two years over hazing incident. President Judith Ramaley issued a statement regarding the incident.
13 February 1998: Burlington Free Press Editorial, Lawsuit Dead Ahead, accuses UVM of unjust handling of Acacia incident.
18 February 1998: The ALANA student community at UVM presented students, faculty, staff, and members of the Burlington Community with the ALANA Student Action Plan at an Open Forum held at the Campus Center Theater. The students have asked President Ramaley to respond by March 2, 1998.
18 February 1998: A third year ALANA student expresses her views on UVM’s Walk with Racism in the Vermont Times newspaper.
05 March 1998: President Judith Ramaley met with the UVM community to have a conversation on diversity. This meeting provided an update on the Building Our Community Action Plan and the President’s response to the ALANA Student Action Plan presented in February.
The Executive Officer for Cultural Pluralism and Racial Equality, Annie Allen, distributed a Comprehensive Strategy for Achieving Diversity and Multicultural Education at UVM.
Much of the meeting was spent discussing cartoons which appeared on February 26,1998 in The Vermont Cynic, the student run newspaper. A student of color spoke about her efforts to address, within the system, the racist cartoons and the effect they had on her personally and on the overall campus climate.
10 March 1998: Acacia is suing the University of Vermont to stop a suspension of the fraternity that was imposed as punishment for a hazing incident in November. In the Burlington Free Press, March 11, 1998, UVM President Ramaley and Donald W. Solanas Jr, International Executive Director of Acacia fraternity present their respective views on the matter.
23 March 1998: The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, in partnership with The University of Vermont, is undertaking a review to understand and assess the changing nature of race relations on college campuses. The focus of the review will be on racial harassment issues.
OCR staff will visit the UVM campus in late April to explore the topic in depth. OCR staff will interact with campus community members in a variety of settings, and will conduct focus groups with university and community groups.
Ramaley will appoint a team—to be led by Wanda Heading-Grant, executive officer of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity—to closely work with OCR to facilitate its review.
16 April 1998: ALANA students call for a boycott of President’s Commission on Racial Equality, Student Government Association, Admissions, Class Panels, and Orientation Leaders.
24 April 1998: UVM discusses race relations in an open forum as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights partnership review.
24 April 1998: The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights issued their initial report of interviews, forums and focus sessions compiled during the week of April 20, 1998 to April 24, 1998 at the University of Vermont. This report is not an assessment nor is it a set of recommendations. The Office of Civil Rights will submit an assessment in four to six weeks.
13 November 1998: The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), in partnership with UVM, has completed a seven-month review of the campus’ racial climate. President Judith Ramaley, in turn, has announced a series of goals, stemming from this collaboration.
Compare OCR’s review with the Strategic Plan for increasing diversity initiated in a UVM Board of Trustees Resolution, February 4, 1995, and reported in a comprehensive report delivered at the May 1996 Board of Trustee’s meeting.
04 December 1998: New Director of ALANA Student Center, Sandra Johnson Spiegel, is announced.
26 January 1999: Editorial reaction to President Judith Ramaley’s first State of the University address.
29 January 1999: Gov. Howard Dean, Mayor Peter Clavelle and Chuck Ross, a representative from Sen. Patrick Leahy’s office spoke at the grand opening ceremony of the University of Vermont’s Center for Cultural Pluralism. Ross, Vermont state director for Leahy, a former UVM trustee and an alumnus, will discuss Leahy’s bias-crime legislation.
The center is located in the 160-year-old Allen House at the corner of Main and South Prospect streets. The Center for Cultural Pluralism is open to, "anybody who is interested in equity and justice in the academy," said Annie Allen, Executive Officer for Cultural Pluralism and Racial Equality.
The evening news reported that Governor Dean attended the ceremony along with others—including members of the tribe of Abenaki who wanted to know why they are still NOT recognized by Dean or the State of Vermont.
May 2001 In recent months, Judith Ramaley was forced to resign by the Board of Trustees. Geoffry Gamble left to take a presidency at a college in the west. Attacks against people of color, people of Jewish descent, and the GLBTQ community continue - as shown below. bias and discrimination on the campus.
05 May 01: In response to the two bias incidents that were recently committed on campus, an open forum was held yesterday, 5/3/01 in North Lounge, Billings Student Center at 4:00 P.M.
On Thursday, April 26, 2001, at midnight, Police Services received notification that a bias incident on the basis of ethnicity occurred in Tupper Hall. Tacked on a bulletin board, on the ground floor, near a restroom, was a typed note with the following message: "Welcome you join. Castrate Asian men. Rape Asian women. Every non-Asian can enjoy this." The note was removed and the matter is under investigation.
On the afternoon of Monday, April 30, 2001, Police Services received notification that a bias incident on the basis of race, occurred in Billings Center. Tacked on a bulletin board, outside the WRUV radio station, was a typed note with the following message, "Welcome you join. Castrate Asian men. Rape Asian women. Every non-Asian can enjoy this." The note was removed and the matter is under investigation.
The participants in the open forum on 5/3/01 resolved to take action. The steps that were adopted are:
Annie Stevens, Interim Assistant VP for Student Affairs, will attempt to have reports of bias incidents such as these, broadcast via email to the entire campus through the President's Office.
A reward should be offered to anyone giving information leading to the identification of the perpetrator of bias incidents on our campus. Steps have been taken to put this protocol in place.
A solidarity demonstration will take place on Monday, 5/7/01 from 11:00 A.M. to noon in front of the Bailey/Howe Library.
01 July 2001: Dr. Willie Colomen becomes new chair of ALANA Studies Program