Dear NC State Students, Faculty and Staff:
Welcome back to campus. I hope you all had an enjoyable and relaxing winter break.
As NC State begins the new year, our momentum has never been stronger. Because of you, our outstanding students, faculty and staff, this university is experiencing unprecedented success — in education, research, partnerships and philanthropy.
Our campus, however, is not immune to the troubling issues facing the nation. NC State, like all universities, has challenges to overcome. In particular, we join campuses and communities across the country in an important national conversation about issues of race, religion, intolerance and discrimination — critical matters that in one way or another touch all of our lives.
I want to take this opportunity to reiterate NC State’s deep commitment to welcome and support all people regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. NC State strives to ensure that our environment supports and encourages the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions while also ensuring that all members of our community are treated with dignity and respect.
NC State’s Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED) provides many diversity- and equity-related educational, training, informational and support opportunities for our campus community. I encourage you to learn more at oied.ncsu.edu and take advantage of the many resources OIED offers.
In addition to existing programs and resources, the university is undertaking several new activities to address and advance diversity and inclusion at NC State.
- Provost Arden and I have scheduled meetings with several groups of students, faculty and staff to discuss their experiences at NC State and hear recommendations about continually improving our university’s cultural competence.
- Vice Chancellor Mullen and staff from the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) are hosting additional meetings with students, faculty and staff to discuss their experiences and recommendations.
- I am including the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity in meetings of the Chancellor’s Cabinet, as matters of diversity and equity are significant considerations embedded in university decision making.
- I have asked the University Diversity Advisory Committee (UDAC) to engage the campus community and make recommendations about improving cultural competence and the racial climate at NC State.
- We are launching a bias incident response team to coordinate appropriate responses to any incidents of bias and ensure support for affected populations.
- The Office of the Provost will implement two programs — the Emerging Scholar Program and the Senior Visiting Scholar Program — in an effort to attract African-American and other underrepresented faculty to NC State.The Council on Undergraduate Education has been evaluating the diversity component of our General Education offerings to help ensure that diversity and inclusion are meaningful parts of our curricula at NC State.
- OIED and Human Resources are evaluating programming opportunities for diversity education for faculty and staff.
These are important steps toward continual enhancement of a diverse and inclusive campus environment, but ultimately it will take the entire NC State community working together to be successful.
I encourage you participate in the many diversity-related activities on campus and in the larger community, including MLK Commemoration events later this month and Black History Month events in February. I also encourage you to engage in informal conversations — in classrooms, residence halls and work groups — to increase your awareness of diversity, race relations and cultural competence, and to better understand how you can help enhance a positive and inclusive campus community.
NC State, already one of the country’s great universities, is on an upward trajectory. As we stay committed to welcoming and supporting all people in our community, we will continue to move this outstanding university, and our society, forward.