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Virginia Military Institute’s chief diversity officer resigns as some alumni push back against DEI initiatives

<i>Courtesy of Virginia Military Institute</i><br/>Jamica Love
Courtesy of Virginia Military Institute
Jamica Love

By Nicole Chavez, CNN

(CNN) — Jamica Love, the first chief diversity officer at the Virginia Military Institute, has resigned, the college’s superintendent announced on Thursday.

“She has been singularly focused on preparing our cadets for the world which they will enter after graduation and making VMI an inclusive institution for any interested and qualified prospective cadet, faculty, or staff member,” retired Army Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, the superintendent of the state-run military college in Lexington, wrote in an email to the school’s community.

He added that Love “has been an exemplar of professionalism and her expertise and positive attitude will be greatly missed.”

Love assumed her current role in 2021 after the college faced allegations of structural racism by Black students and alumni, and as the result of an independent investigation into those allegations was released.

In his email, Wins assured the school leadership remained committed to three principles established after the investigation into racism allegations.

Those principles are creating and fostering a more diverse school; “a safe, equitable, and inclusive environment”; and maintaining “a safe, rigorous process for escalating issues which have even the potential to violate the Code of a Cadet,” according to Wins’ email.

Love’s deputy, Briana Williams, will serve as interim chief diversity officer until the position can be filled on a permanent basis, according to VMI spokesman Col. Bill Wyatt.

With Love’s departure, Wins said he plans to reevaluate how best to achieve the three principles “in a manner that is unique to VMI’s needs and preserves the fundamentals of the VMI experience.”

The announcement comes after some alumni have spoken against DEI initiatives and their implementation for months. Members of the Spirit of VMI, a political action committee comprising alumni, parents and friends of the school, have argued that DEI is “unnecessary,” promotes racial division and urge others to “reject the woke assault on VMI.

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