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Thank you for visiting the University Diversity Council (UDC) website. This site is a resource for the Five-Year Strategic Diversity Plan that was formally accepted by the Longwood University Board of Visitors in 2021. The Diversity Strategic Plan was written by faculty, staff, students, and administrators who shared their ideas, knowledge, and experiences. Other resources for the creation of the plan came from campus climate survey results, theory, and best practices. You can learn a little bit more about the UDC and the process for developing the Five-Year Strategic Diversity Plan below. The full Diversity Strategic Plan is located under the tab on this page by the same name. 

Five-Year Strategic Diversity Plan Development

The Five-Year Strategic Diversity plan consists of phased, measurable initiatives that will help Longwood University identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.  Our goal is to ensure all members of our institution – students, staff, faculty, and administrators – have opportunities to fully participate within and benefit from all that Longwood University has to offer.

During the fall 2019 semester, UDC members obtained feedback from various campus constituents by meeting with over 25 student, faculty, and staff groups and hosting three open sessions. In addition, a campus climate survey was conducted in 2018.  Drawing from this information, research, and best practices, the UDC began crafting a Five-Year Strategic Diversity plan in the spring of 2020.  The completed plan was slated originally to be presented to the University Planning Council (UPC) during the April, 2020 meeting for approval and request for implementation starting with the fall 2020 semester. Due to the events related to Covid-19, the University Diversity Council was unable to meet its original completion deadline. The plan initiatives will take place fall of 2021 through spring of 2026.

The UDC is utilizing a theoretical framework called the Full Participation model. At a fundamental level, the Full Participation model states that in order for diverse members of a campus community to achieve full participation, they must be able to engage fully within and benefit from all areas of an institution at numbers proportionate to their representation within that institution.  Ultimately, we use this theory as a model for ensuring our campus community is inclusive to all members with equitable access to all services, facilities, programs, and employment opportunities.

Often people think of different ideas when the terms “diversity” and “inclusion” are used.  Here’s what we mean when we use those terms:

Diversity: psychological, physical, and social differences that occur among individuals; including but not limited to race, color, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, veteran status, education, marital status, language, age, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, genetic information, intellectual perspectives and learning styles. A diverse group, community, or organization is one in which a variety of social and cultural characteristics exist.

Inclusion: The action or state of including or being included within a group or structure; inclusion involves an authentic and empowered participation and a true sense of belonging; the notion that an organization or system is welcoming to new populations and/or identities. This new presence is not merely tolerated but expected to contribute meaningfully into the system in a positive, mutually beneficial way. Inclusive processes and practices are ones that strive to bring groups together to make decisions in collaborative, mutual, equitable ways.

With your help, we want to help all people at Longwood continue to thrive and grow within a multi-cultural environment.

About the UDC

The UDC was started in fall 2017 as part of the University Planning Council (UPC) by President Reveley.  The UDC’s mission is to develop and suggest policies and procedures, as well as implement programs, that facilitate Longwood increasing its diversity and becoming a more pluralistic, inclusive, and socially just community.

The primary goal of the UDC is to develop and assess a Diversity Strategic Plan to address issues related to pluralism and inclusion across Longwood in a systematic and coordinated manner. Using research, theory, and institutional best practices, the UDC works with campus and community partners to develop policies and initiatives that create institution-wide advancement related to diversity at Longwood University.

The UDC had over 50 committee and sub-committee members comprised of faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Now, the UDC Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from every unit on campus. The UDC collects data on the implementation of the Diversity Strategic Plan

For more information about the UDC, please contact co-leaders Dr. JoEllen Pederson ( or Mr. Jonathan Page (

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