Provost’s Corner: October 2016

Dear faculty and staff,

We want this newsletter to keep you informed of timely news and events that involve our campus. When we started planning our coverage this summer, we wanted to focus our October edition on diversity at NC State. In light of disturbing comments from students on social media, and the way our student body has come together to speak out on this and other issues, engaging in dialogue on diversity is more important now than ever before.

Many of you have voiced concerns over recent local and national events negatively impacting our campus culture and our underrepresented students, faculty and staff. When even one member of our community feels unsafe or unwelcome, this impacts us all.

We must continue to work together to address issues of diversity and inequity and to ensure that NC State is a place that all in our community are proud to call home. We’ve held meetings and had discussions with one another to figure out the best way to move forward.

I appreciate your willingness to engage on difficult topics, but I also know that you are ready to move past talk and take action. As a “Think and Do” university, we must talk with the intention to create real change.

The University Diversity Advisory Committee recently recommended that Chancellor Woodson and I create actionable steps to strengthen our campus culture and make NC State an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. These recommendations address areas of cultural competency, the university’s GEP diversity course requirement, communications efforts and student government action items.

Additionally, we appreciate everyone who made their voice heard at the Racial Climate Town Hall on Sep. 29. The hurt felt by many on our campus is real and concerning, and we want to repair it.

To begin moving forward, NC State has formed a Bias Incident Response Team to review incidents of racism and bigotry and to improve our response to them. We’re also working with the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity to provide inclusivity and diversity training for faculty, staff and students. Recommendations from January’s town hall meeting were taken into account, with actionable items presented at the Racial Climate Town Hall in September.

We will continue to listen to recommendations from town hall meetings. Chancellor Woodson has charged a task force to assess NC State’s efforts to recruit, admit, retain and graduate students from underrepresented groups. Mike Mullen, vice chancellor and dean of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, will appoint a group of faculty, advisors and students to review diversity education efforts and the current GEP diversity course requirement. Of course, there are many more efforts underway, and we look forward to telling you more as these progress.

We also want to make sure everyone is aware of other resources at your disposal to proactively engage with the campus community in improving our culture and resolving issues that may arise within this sphere.

I would strongly encourage you all to get involved with diversity efforts on campus. We are committed to being clear and transparent in our communications — and to continually improving and strengthening diversity at NC State. We want to be representative of all our faculty and staff, and to ensure that your concerns are both heard and acted upon.

We are always working to improve our campus culture, but there is clearly much more that must be done. Together, we can achieve our goals and be proud of what diversity means at NC State.

Until next time,

Warwick Arden
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

One response on “Provost’s Corner: October 2016

  1. Angkana P Bode says:

    NC State Staff are here to support our Students, Faculty and Administrators. Thank you Provost Arden for your clear and transparent communications.

    Staff Senate Chair

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