On April 9, 2019 the CALS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee voted to post a DRAFT set of definitions and mission statement for the Committee. We invite feedback on the mission and definition. Please contact the EDI Committee Chair, Chris Koliba, ckoliba@uvm.edu with any feedback. Look for additional materials and content in the months to come.

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.

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.”

CALS EDI Committee Members

  • Christopher Koliba, Community Development & Applied Economics (Committee Chair)
  • Patrick Brown, Community Development & Applied Economics
  • Ernesto Mendez, Plant & Soil Science
  • Don Stratton, Plant Biology
  • Farryl Bertmann, Nutrition & Food Sciences
  • Eric Testroet, Animal Science
  • Dawei Li, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
  • Cheryl Herrick, UVM Extension
  • Kate Finley Woodruff, CALS Dean's Office

Contact: Chris Koliba, EDI Committee Chair