Achieving diversity as a key initiative for the AAVMC was a derivative of discussions focused on the Supreme Court’s Bakke decision in the late 1970s. The associate deans of academic affairs and, specifically, the admissions directors seized the opportunity to address in what ways the association could promote the recruitment and retention of students from backgrounds more reflective of the tapestry of the ethnic and racial profiles predicted for the 21st century. Data analysis, strategy development, and collective programming were all components believed to be important and a more structured committee approach was deemed appropriate to effectuate change. The Committee on Minority Affairs was established as a standing committee and in the early 1990s evolved into the Multicultural Affairs Committee to expand the intentional inclusion of a range of individuals whose voices were underrepresented in veterinary education and ultimately the profession. Among the many recommendations that were offered to institutionalize the vision and effort was the appointment of a senior member of the association’s executive staff who would ensure advocacy and realization of the vision and targeted outcomes. Under the leadership of the Associate Executive Director for Diversity, the DiVersity Matters strategic plan has established the foundation for achieving that which was set forth approximately 30 years ago. As the AAVMC moves forward with the results of the most recent strategic planning process, making veterinary medicine inclusive becomes a renewed objective to meeting the needs of our current global society.
Diversity Committee Charge
- Develop, promote and participate in activities which create inclusive environments for all constituents at AAVMC member institutions.
- Provide and request relevant information to and from AAVMC initiatives, programs, committees, and task forces that contribute to the diversification of the applicant pool; removal of barriers to admission; retention of minority students, staff, and faculty; and full participation for applicants, students, faculty, and staff.
- Provide and request relevant information to and from AAVMC initiatives, programs, committees, and task forces regarding tools for graduating culturally conscious veterinarians.
- Develop and participate in activities which create greater awareness of educational and employment opportunities in veterinary medicine among underrepresented and disadvantaged groups.
- Develop and collaborate on diversity related meetings and symposia as well as other appropriate activities that support the AAVMC DiVersity Matters initiative.
- Provide continued support and guidance on the institutionalization of awards that recognize and celebrate the contributions and efforts made to advance diversity in academic veterinary medicine.
2020-2021 Diversity Committee Leadership
|Dr. Carla Gartrell, Chair|
Associate Professor & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
College of Veterinary Medicine
|Dr. Michael Bowie, Past Chair|
Clinical Assistant Professor & Director, Community Engagement and Diversity Outreach
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Florida
|Dr. Lisa Greenhill, Staff Liaison|
Senior Director for Institutional
Research and Diversity