Message from VCU President Rao to community

To the VCU and VCU Health System Communities:

In the past several days, I have heard from many members of the VCU community who support our commitment to diversity in its many dimensions. Now, as always, we assert and will firmly and clearly reassert that our commitment is central, enduring and unequivocal. My leadership team and I are profoundly committed to diversity and work to cultivate an academic and work environment that is safe and supportive. We will accept nothing less.

VCU will always proudly champion diversity as a core value. We are a community that seeks to embrace and learn from one another, not simply tolerate one another. We will also remember that an essential part of this shared commitment and understanding is treating all people fairly and respectfully - without presumptions of their intent, beliefs or actions. This can be especially difficult - but most important to do - when an issue confronts us.

In this particular instance, the facts related to the non-renewal of Coach Finley's contract are under investigation by the Office of Institutional Equity to determine if there was bias or improper motive in the employment decision. It is incumbent upon all of us to not rush to judgment and allow the investigation to proceed in a way that is fair to all.

When we face a challenge within our community, we have the opportunity for dialogue and reflection and a chance to further advance our core values. We will always be a welcoming university that celebrates and understands its diversity as a rich asset, and we will never tolerate any act of prejudice or discrimination in any corner of VCU. We will continue to work and engage with you to support our shared commitments to equity, fairness and diversity.


Michael Rao
President, VCU and the VCU Health System