• white


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is committed to combating racism and fostering a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion that enables all students, faculty and staff to fully engage in the educational, outreach and scholarly pursuits of our College. These efforts are consistent with the University's "Common Ground."

The CALS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee works together with CALS leadership, faculty, staff and students to develop College-level initiatives that focus on matters related to equity, diversity and inclusion and to actively promote this agenda.

EDI Committee Mission

The CALS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee uses the multiple lenses of equity, diversity, and inclusion to support a culture for students, faculty and staff within the CALS community to participate and engage fully in the educational, outreach and scholarly pursuits of our College, consistent with the university’s “Our Common Ground.”

We embrace these values as defined by the Committee below.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Definitions


Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.


Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. While diversity is often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, we embrace a broader definition of diversity that also includes age, national origin, religion, ability status, sexual orientation, class, veteran status, socioeconomic status, ability, education level, marital status, language, and body size. Our definition also includes diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives, and values. We also recognize that individuals affiliate with multiple identities.


Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate, and conditions that support a sense of belonging across multiple identities and communities. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. It’s important to note that while an inclusive group is by definition diverse, a diverse group isn’t always inclusive.

CALS EDI Committee Members (2023-24)

  • Yolanda Chen, Plant & Soil Science, Chair
  • Julie Smith, Animal & Veterinary Science
  • Joe Ament, Community Development & Applied Economics
  • Farryl Bertmann, Nutrition & Food Sciences
  • Jane Molofsky, Plant Biology
  • Scott Lewins, UVM Extension
  • Rachel Leslie, CALS Dean's Office

University Diversity Council Representatives (2023-24)

  • Rachel Leslie, CALS Dean's Office
  • Jane Molofsky, Plant Biology



UVM Extension is also actively engaged in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts led by an internal committee of Extension faculty and staff.

UVM Extension DEI Committee webpage