Institutional Efforts and Leadership

Institutional Efforts

  • Strategic Plan: Approved by the Board of Trustees in May 2018, the university's Strategic Plan features major initiatives in support of diversity and inclusion, including:
    • Admitting the strongest applicants, regardless of family financial circumstances;
    • Eliminating financial barriers to curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular participation;
    • Offering high-quality residential, dining, and social options for all students;
    • Recruiting deep and diverse applicant pools for undergraduate and law school admission and faculty and staff positions;
    • Deepening student connections to W&L through the Office of Inclusion and Engagement.
  • LACRELA: In November 2020, Washington and Lee University became one of 51 inaugural member institutions of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance, a new initiative from the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center. The alliance will provide resources that help member institutions develop and achieve equity goals, better understand and correct climate problems, avoid and recover from racial crises, and foster sustainable cultures of inclusion.
  • Statement of Commitment to Diversity: Washington and Lee affirms that diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhance our community. We are committed to the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of students, faculty, and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and identities. As engaged citizens in a global and diverse society, we seek to advance a positive learning and working environment for all through open and substantive dialogue. Approved by the Board of Trustees, May 18, 2002. Revised and Approved by the Board of Trustees, February 11, 2018


The University has several committees and working groups dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including:

  • The University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate: Representing the views of students, staff, administration, and faculty, the committee is charged with providing guidance and direction as we build a supportive, inclusive, and diverse community. Specifically, the committee advises on policy issues, practices, and procedures relating to DEI and matters of campus climate. The committee also serves as a resource for the W&L community around current DEI trends and promising practices.
  • The Faculty Antiracist Plan Committee: In Fall 2020, the W&L faculty elected an ad-hoc committee elected by the faculty to prioritize the goals set forth in the 13-point Faculty Antiracist Plan of Action for Systemic Change and propose ways of accomplishing them.
  • The Working Group on the History of African Americans at W&L: In August 2013, W&L established a working group to examine the role of African Americans in the history of the university. Through the Working Group, W&L was one of the earliest members of the Universities Studying Slavery, a 52-member, international organization dedicated to organizing multi-institutional collaboration as part of an effort to facilitate mutual support in the pursuit of common goals regarding the relationships that colleges and universities have historically had with slavery.
  • Diversity/First-Gen Working Group: Student Affairs created the Diversity/First-Gen Working Group as a vehicle to share information and ideas, and to aid in the facilitation of addressing issues related to equity and inclusion on campus.
  • Law Diversity and Inclusion Committee: In Fall 2016, the Law School created a standing committee consisting of faculty and staff to explore ways in which it can increase the diversity of our community while promoting an environment in which all share a sense of belonging.