A Message of Diversity and Inclusion

As Wolverines, we believe in creating an environment of respect and civility, one in which every individual is seen, valued, and able to thrive.


To Our UVU Community, 


As Wolverines, we believe in creating an environment of respect and civility, one in which every individual is seen, valued, and able to thrive. 

Our resilience and community spirit have been tried recently with a series of disturbing acts of racism violently directed at members of the black community across our nation. This has exacerbated the fear, pain, and angst many were already experiencing with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These racially motivated incidents profoundly remind us that we do not live in a privileged sanctuary where racism can be ignored, unacknowledged, or deflected. They also remind us of our responsibility to understand the complexities of history, identity, equity, and difference. 

We are united in our continued commitment to address the deeply damaging effects of racism. Together, we can elevate all individuals by supporting their educational, professional, and personal aspirations without feeling alienated by prejudice, bias, and stereotypes. As we build a more inclusive UVU and make progress on the next phase of our strategic Inclusion & Diversity Action Plan, we know we can foster conditions that will allow all of us to learn, labor, and serve together. Specifically, when we emphasize that “UVU is a place for you,” we welcome all people and reaffirm one of our fundamental values — exceptional care. 

We invite everyone to work more deliberately to strengthen exceptional care at UVU. We encourage everyone to eliminate any racism that might manifest in our professional conduct and interactions, educational programs, and teaching and scholarship. 

If you are asking yourself what you can do, we would like to offer a few suggestions to start with:


  • Check in with fellow colleagues, friends, and students — particularly those from the black community — who might be reeling from the incidents and are concerned for their safety (physical, psychological, and emotional); 
  • Educate yourself by reading anti-racist scholarly works and literature, and be willing to listen and learn from perspectives that are different from your own; 
  • Participate in educational programming and serve on committees at UVU like the Black Student Union (BSU), Foundations of Inclusion, the Inclusion Committee, and the Academic Committee on Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (to name a few);
  • Dedicate yourself to examining or re-examining structural barriers and practices that impede equity, diversity, and inclusion in your respective areas and collegiate relationships; and 
  • Be an ally, advocate, and accomplice who engages in anti-racist inquiries and actions. 


We would also like to invite those who are grieving, want to reflect, desire to listen and to learn, are contemplating more active approaches to advocacy, and wish to dialogue to participate in a forum hosted by Dr. Belinda ’Otukolo Saltiban (chief inclusion and diversity officer), Kevin "DoK" Woods (athletics mental health and sports performance specialist), and Dr. Ben Bailey (Student Health Services mental health therapist) on June 8 at 10 a.m. via Microsoft Teams. As always, we also encourage UVU faculty and staff to take advantage of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which may be of assistance.

We have much work to do, and our hearts go out to all of you who are experiencing grief and pain. We will continue to educate ourselves on racism and the harm it produces. We will work daily on words and actions that will enlarge understanding, empathy, and love. 

Thank you for working with us on this journey to build a stronger university and a kinder community.

In peace,


Astrid S. Tuminez

Wayne Vaught
Provost & VP of Academic Affairs

Val Peterson
Vice President of Finance & Administration

Linda Makin
Vice President of Planning, Budget, and Human Resources

Kyle Reyes
Vice President of Student Affairs

Scott Cooksey
Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Kelly Flanagan
Vice President of Digital Transformation and CIO

Belinda ’Otukolo Saltiban
Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer

Clark Collings
Interim General Counsel

Kara Schneck
Chief of Staff