VPR on fighting systemic racism in research

Dear research community,

The racial violence and tragic events that have occurred recently, and throughout our nation’s history, have been extremely painful and distressing to our local campus. As the Vice President for Research, I stand in unity with the fight against systemic racism, white supremacy, and the ongoing oppression of the Black community. As a reminder, racism and discrimination of any kind will NOT be tolerated in the U research community.

I understand that similar words of solidarity are echoed throughout the world, however, the VPR Office must take ACTION and DO more.

Each year, the VPR Office funds seed grant initiatives and research programs on topics of urgent and critical importance to our society. In the coming academic year, the VPR Office will prioritize partnerships across the university that will encourage thoughtful, measurable actions, such as creating new programs, seed grants and infrastructure for research activities that specifically support equality, diversity and inclusion efforts on our local campus, in our Utah communities and beyond. We will also engage key leaders, researchers, students and staff from the Black community to hear new ideas on how to implement immediate and sustainable change within the U research community. Amplifying and prioritizing voices from individuals in the research community who experience the effects of systemic racism and discrimination is essential in helping us establish a culture that works to dismantle systematic inequities.

Finally, I want to encourage each of you to participate in the #ShutDownSTEM movement and devote some time to reflect on how to make impactful changes within your departments/units.

The VPR Office will also participate in this movement tomorrow as a commitment towards education, taking action and healing.

There is so much more work to be done, and I know this is only one step in addressing the systemic racism that has been ingrained in our nation’s historical foundation. I am committed to holding myself and our research community accountable as we move forward in the fight for equality.

I see U. I hear U. I stand with U.

Andy Weyrich
Vice President for Research