Dear CALS and Extension Community, 

I am sure many of you have read President Garimella's message in response to the events of this past week. I, too, wanted to express my heartfelt sadness over the senseless killing of George Floyd, and similar events that have occurred far too often.

The frustration, anger and pain being felt across our country is apparent. I also share these frustrations and stand with members of our community who may be especially traumatized by these events. Bigotry and racism have no place in our community. As students and educators who value and celebrate diversity, it is incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to encourage positive change, whether that is to listen or provide support, take action against microaggressions, insensitive comments, or mistreatment, or become more aware of our own unconscious biases.

We embrace the values of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as defined by our CALS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. We are committed to supporting a culture for students, faculty and staff to fully participate and engage in the educational, outreach and scholarly pursuits of our College, consistent with the university's "Our Common Ground."

Anyone in our community who has experienced or witnessed a bias incident, discrimination or harassment is encouraged to report it to UVM's Office for Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AAEO). For our students who are in need of support, please lean on your campus resources, the Mosaic CenterCAPS, and our CALS Student Services team. We are here for you.

Leslie V. Parise
Dean, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
University of Vermont


Leslie Parise