The UVA School of Architecture is committed to cultivating democracy and to the sustained, critical rethinking of our institutional policies, practices and structures. We recognize our own privileges as an institution, and we honor the consequential responsibilities to move our society towards an inclusive future that recognizes and serves all people, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, nationality, citizenship status, ability, or socioeconomic standing.


In 2017, the School of Architecture’s Inclusion + Equity Committee began work on a wide-ranging plan of action, motivated by our commitment to the university as a space for cultivating democracy, one dedicated to “the sustained, critical rethinking of our institutional policies, practices, and structures.” In June 2020, over 500 members of the School of Architecture community signed a Call to Action, urging the School of Architecture “to accept the challenge of setting a precedent for an anti-racist design pedagogy,” with a key priority of appointing an Associate Dean of Inclusion + Equity. That same summer, President Jim Ryan appointed a Racial Equity Task Force (RETF), whose final report, “Audacious Future: Commitment Required,” issued in August 2020 and endorsed by UVA’s Board of Visitors, lays out a detailed action plan for the University of Virginia. As a short term exploratory and advisory body, the Racial Equity Task Force (RETF) aligned initiatives with the University's Inclusive Excellence framework and the University's 2030 Strategic Plan to orient and embed the initiatives in our larger institutional operations. 

This pivotal moment of institutional transformation presents an unparalleled opportunity to spearhead the continued co-creation and implementation of long-term solutions that are integrated into the A-School's educational mission, daily operations, and culture. The A-School has many leaders in the national conversations about JEDI topics in the field, and we are ready to invest in the institutional infrastructure needed to build on our collective strengths. The A-School aims to be a nexus of thought leadership on Justice, Democracy, and Design— cultivating and disseminating knowledge on architectural empathy, on climate justice, on cultural landscapes, and on community-driven design that help transform our professions and disciplines.


In July 2021, Malo A. Hutson joined the University of Virginia School of Architecture as Dean and named the JEDI Initiative as one of his key priorities for the School, building on the ongoing work by the Inclusion + Equity Committee.  Through the coordinated efforts of leadership, faculty, staff, students, alumni and allies, the School of Architecture is committed to the long term project of working together to build, promote and sustain a culture of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion — and to cultivate shared humanity through difference — within and beyond the University.


  1. Increase faculty, staff, and student diversity through recruitment and retention 
  2. Expand student support and resources
  3. Enhance social justice-based pedagogy and disciplinary scholarship around issues of race, identity, culture, power, and belonging
  4. Build meaningful, sustainable, and supportive partnerships with neighborhoods, institutions, communities and organizations who are allies in this work
  5. Establish guiding metrics and a structure of reporting and communicating progress

Below you can review the status updates on the JEDI Initiative, its key strategic goals, and additional new and ongoing work contributing to achieving justice, equity, diversity and inclusion as integral to our guiding mission as a School. 


GOAL 1: Double the number of underrepresented faculty by 2030


— Associate Dean JEDI
The School launched a search for an Associate Dean JEDI who will join the A-School faculty. The Associate Dean will be a key member of the Dean's Executive Team and will bring strategic and imaginative thinking to the School-wide shared JEDI project. POSITION DESCRIPTION.
Announcement of the hire of C.L. Bohannon as AD JEDI and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture: March 2022

— Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows
The School launched a search for up to two Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows in Race, Place & Equity, part of a $5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation that supports a wide-ranging series of racial equity programs across the University (Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost).
Mellon Fellows Olanrewaju Lasisi and Ana Ozaki joined the Department of Architectural History as postdoctoral fellows in AY 23-24.

— Early Career Fellows
The School is a founding member of the national "Deans' Equity and Inclusion Initiative," a partnership of nine (at founding) US schools and colleges of architecture, planning, and design working collectively to nurture a diverse population of emerging scholars focused on teaching and researching the built environment to advance socio-ecological and spatial justice, equity and inclusion. Launched in Summer 2021 with continued growth each year.
The A-School hosted the DEII Summer Institute in summer 2023. 
The A-School hires DEII Fellow Isaac Mangual as a Virginia Architecture Fellow for AY 23-24.
Anticipated appointment of I+E Early Career Fellow(s) at the A-School in the next 2 academic years.

— JEDI Emerging Faculty Fellows
Continue to build long-term robust faculty pipelines to increase faculty diversity through JEDI Emerging Faculty Fellowships.
Exploration stage.

— JEDI Faculty Hires
Seek additional JEDI TOPS hires for both tenured and tenure-track faculty.
Announcement of Andrea Roberts as Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning and co-director of the Center for Cultural Landscapes, March 2022
Announcement of Mohamed Ismail as Assistant Professor of Architecture, March 2022

GOAL 2: Review policies regarding faculty and staff hiring, wages, retention, promotion, work load, and procurement, in order to ensure equity


— Retention and Support of Faculty + Staff
Examine overall practices including recruitment, promotion, wages and tenure for faculty and staff.
Ongoing through Faculty PTR Committee.
University-wide Staff compensation analysis completed in AY 22-23
University-wide Faculty compensation analysis underway in AY 23-24

— Teaching and Service Loads for Faculty
Examine teaching and service loads across all faculty ranks.
Ongoing through Dean's Executive Team in coordination with faculty.

— Service Loads for Staff and Areas in need of Expanded Support
Examine staff work loads across units and increase staff positions to support areas needing expanded support.
Ongoing through Dean's Executive Team in coordination with staff leadership.

GOAL 3: Increase student diversity to better reflect the racial, ethnic and economic demographics of the state of Virginia


— NOMA Project Pipeline
First launched in summer 2019 by the A-School's chapter of the NOMA Project Pipeline, this ongoing pre-recruitment program provides an educational experience for low-income youth in the Charlottesville community and provides hands-on exposure to the design and planning disciplines. The Project Pipeline program also has partnered with local co-designers, such as the Public Housing Association of Resident (PHAR) to engage in design-build opportunities and will continue to build community-engaged programming each summer.
Ongoing with current partner, StarrHill; Exploring potential new partners to increase impact.
Seeking additional financial resources to build sustainable long-term support to cover staff support, youth designer stipends, materials, food, field trips.

— Robust pipelines for recruitment of underrepresented and low-income students
The A-School has recently established an MOU with the Bonner Foundation and partnerships with the McNair Scholars Program and the California Forum for Diversity to enhance our recruitment (collaborative effort between the Office of the Dean, Admission Office, Communications Office).
The A-School continues to build relationships with HBCUs, TCUs, and HSIs first established in 2020 by the DEI Outreach Task Force.
Exploration stage, Ongoing through faculty and graduate program directors in coordination with Admission Office.
The School admitted its first Bonner Scholar in spring 2022.

— Application fee waivers and travel stipends for low-income prospective students
To increase access to education for low-income prospective students, we aim to cover application fees and travel to visit the A-School for those in need.
Current MOUs and partnerships include application fee waivers.
Currently, the School covers graduate application fees and travel expenses to in-person graduate open house for those with demonstrated financial need.
Seeking additional financial resources to cover these expenses.

— JEDI-focused programming for recruitment
First hosted in 2019 by the I+E Committee in coordination with the Admission Office, open houses specifically designed for students interested in JEDI has helped to increase our BIPOC student cohort - a 24.8% increase in 2020.
JEDI Open Houses and/or Discussion Panels, etc. will continue to evolve and become embedded in the fabric of the A-School's recruitment culture.
Ongoing / Continuous.
Seeking additional financial resources to cover travel stipends for those in need to attend in-person events.

— JEDI Scholarships
In spring 2020, the A-School established two named scholarships focused on diversity, equity and inclusion 
- named after Edward Wayne Barnett and Audrey Spencer-Horsley, the School's first African American graduates. Scholars were awarded in 2020 and 2021 and through a collective commitment across the School's faculty, staff, leadership boards, alumni and friends, $540,000 was raised in gifts, pledges, and University match by December 2020.
The School has expanded its goal in order to establish competitive scholarships at the graduate-level to both recruit and retain future JEDI scholars.
Ongoing / Continuous.
Seeking additional financial resources to cover 5 full-tuition scholarships and 5 half-tuition scholarships in- and out-of-state for graduate education.

GOAL 4: Increase staff diversity to better reflect the racial, ethnic and economic demographics of the state of Virginia


— Staff Diversity, Professional Support and Growth
University Human Resources is currently undertaking a long-term project to evaluate the job structures in place at the University to establish more clarity in career pathways. This work includes establishing a process for ensuring consistent evaluation of qualifications and experience that qualify individuals for roles beyond, or in addition to, specific degree programs.
The A-School will work in coordination with University HR to continue to evaluate hiring practices to increase diversity in staff, practices for retention and additional pathways for staff success.
Exploration Stage.


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