DEIB Around the World’s first cohort in Milan, Italy. Photo by A’me Dalton for Virginia Tech.

The Pamplin College of Business Office for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) has published the second edition of its Impact Report, highlighting Pamplin’s DEIB efforts and outcomes in the 2022–2023 academic year. The annual report showcases progress toward the college’s commitment to fostering an inclusive academic and workplace environment, initiatives to inspire and prepare stakeholders to make positive societal impact, and highlighting advancements in the DEIB goals, metrics, and levels outlined in Pamplin’s 2019–2024 Strategic and Implementation Plan

“For me, DEIB is the hallmark of our academic community. A deep commitment to DEIB creates a collaborative and just environment based on a genuinely shared vision and governance ensuring inclusivity and well-being of all relevant stakeholders,” said Saonee Sarker, dean of Pamplin College of Business.

“To fulfill such a commitment requires a proactive, not reactive, approach to DEIB. Being proactive in this realm will identify areas of inadequate representation of different sub-communities, understand and embrace differences, and encourage the sharing of, and reflexive engagement with, multiple perspectives that we hold. Some of these ideas have shaped my past actions and will inform my work in the coming years at Pamplin.”

Click to access the full report.

Led by a team of five full-time employees, the Office for DEIB delivers a range of programs, services, and initiatives to support Pamplin in building a model inclusive community, adhering to Pamplin’s Strategic Initiative 5.6. With four overarching DEIB-focused goals, the college has made great progress this past academic year, surpassing three of their outlined metrics within goal two of achieving representation diversity in Pamplin: 

  • 41 percent of underrepresented minority or underserved students in the entering undergraduate program (freshmen and transfer) as of fall 2022.
  • 24 percent of underrepresented minority students in the entering doctoral program as of fall 2022.
  • 21 percent of underrepresented minority tenure-track faculty as of fall 2022.

Pamplin continues to see an increase in student achievement, surpassing the university’s four-year graduation average. Tremendous progress has been made to advance the student experience, including efforts to eliminate disparities within segments of the diverse undergraduate population. To address gaps, Pamplin has appointed Michelle Seref as interim assistant dean of outreach and student engagement and has organized the Enrollment Analytics Project to evaluate courses with high rates of grades “D”, “F”, and withdrawals. 

With a range of programming and events, Pamplin’s DEIB efforts aim to support, educate, and celebrate our stakeholders including students, employees, alumni, corporate and community partners, while making positive societal impact through culturally humble practices and contributions.

The newest hallmark program is DEIB Around the World, an international experiential learning abroad program. In partnership with Virginia Tech’s Global Education Office and the Steger Center for International Scholarship, 26 undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds set off on a 10-day journey in May 2023, where they gained hands-on knowledge about the opportunities and challenges of international business, international market expansions, how to gain an internship and/or a full-time job abroad, issues of DEIB in a global context, how to navigate cultural differences, and more.

This program aligns with the third goal of Pamplin’s Strategic Initiative: 5.6. Build a model inclusive community, by advancing the academic mission of Pamplin through diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.  

“DEIB Around the World was created to offer diverse students the opportunity and access to experience learning abroad and all it has to offer,” said Janice Branch Hall, associate dean for DEIB.

“Airfare, lodging, passport fees, and more were barriers that many of these students faced with a traditional study abroad program. We are actively working to create a more sustainable model for this experiential learning program in a way that articulates global and societal impact. We will continue to advocate for life-altering programs such as DEIB Around the World to foster greater impact. These students’ lives will never be the same thanks to these unforgettable moments. This is just the beginning.”

Additional program mentions are those of Pamplin’s Undergraduate Mentoring Program (PUMP), Inspire Excellence Academy (IEA), On the Move with DEIB, Salute to Veterans Day: The Embodiment of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Spring Inclusion Dinner, DEIB Student Org Coalition, Pamplin’s Women Summit, Pamplin’s Inspiring Possibilities (PIP) Academy, and more. 

For more information about the work of the Office for DEIB, including efforts to educate and celebrate the Pamplin workforce and increase underrepresented minority representation on Pamplin boards through the Pamplin Advisory Council DEIB Committee, or ways to advance DEIB, please refer to the final report or contact

Written by A’me Dalton