NC State Leaders Update Campus on Diversity Initiatives

Dr. Linda McCabe Smith

University leaders reaffirmed NC State’s strong support of diversity and inclusion on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at the Campus Diversity Conversation in Stewart Theatre.

Chancellor Woodson provided introductory remarks that recognized the many ongoing efforts to build an inclusive environment at the university. Woodson mentioned recent programs such as Black History Month activities organized by Multicultural Student Affairs, the Spring Diversity Dialogue entitled “Controversial Issues and Civil Dialogue,”  the recent panel discussion, “Welcoming Faith Communities” on faith and sexuality and the student-organized “United Not Divided” rally as recent visible examples of how both the university and our students work to embrace and enhance equity and diversity. Woodson encouraged attendees to participate in these conversations to benefit both themselves and the university as a whole.

Provost Warwick Arden gave an overview of the topics to be presented and clarified that the presentation aimed to respond to prior requests for information about diversity initiatives on campus, questions asked during Student Government town halls and recommendations to the University Diversity Advisory Committee convened by the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.

Vice Provost Linda McCabe Smith, who has led the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED) since August 2016, welcomed attendees and emphasized the importance of working collaboratively. Smith and her staff have met with the diversity coordinators in the colleges, unit equity officers, deans, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Human Resources, student groups and collaborated with the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA), led by Vice-Chancellor Mike Mullen, to provide training and resources to students through many of DASA’s student programs. Dr. Smith also spoke briefly about efforts to review processes relating to Title VII, specifically search activities, and Title IX, including training for students, faculty and staff.

In all, thirteen areas representing OIED, DASA, the Office of International Affairs, NC State Police as well as cross-university task forces provided updates on the following initiatives occurring during the 2016-17 academic year.

Presenter: Dr. Tracey Ray, assistant vice provost for student diversity

Summary: The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity is developing a model for cultural competence training and is currently seeking feedback. A pilot training is targeted for spring and a preliminary website is available for review.

Presenter: Dr. Herle McGowan, associate professor, statistics

Summary: A task force to reexamine the GEP/USD course requirement for students is underway. Considerations include course credit, co-curricular options, and revisiting the objectives of the requirement to provide meaningful educational experiences.

Presenter: Deborah Felder, assistant director of Student Involvement

Summary: Student Involvement incorporated diversity and inclusion training into the Student Organization Leaders Essential Training (SOLE) for 2016-17. Training for 500-600 students included the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) workshop and Identity Compass workshop, both with facilitation from the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.

Presenter Cameron Hill, associate director of New Student Programs

Summary: Orientation leaders participated in a series of diversity workshops with facilitation provided by the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity, Disability Services, Military and Veterans Resource Center and TRiO. Pack Pride provides summer diversity training through performance to engage students in dialogue around a variety of diversity-oriented themes and community values. The common reading selections for 2016 and 2017, Just Mercy and Between the World and Me, highlight themes relating to diversity.

Presenter: Elizabeth James, director of International Student and Scholar Services (OIS)

Summary: NC State’s students affected by DACA and its population of international students are both experiencing uncertainty regarding visa, immigration and travel status. NC State has issued letters of support and OIS has met with affected students and provided assistance and resources to the extent to which they are able.

Presenter: Reggie Barnes, senior director of campus community centers

Summary: The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is a new university-wide system that will launch on April 4, 2017. The system will allow students, faculty, staff and others to report incidents of bias on and around campus. BIRT will not replace existing avenues for reporting violations of policy or law but will track incidents and provide a means for review and restorative practices.

Presenter: Reggie Barnes, senior director of campus community centers

Summary: Three of the campus community centers will undergo restructuring to better serve student needs. Focus areas include the African American Cultural Center, Multicultural Student Affairs and the Women’s Center. An anticipated addition is a position to support Asian American and Pacific Islander students.

Presenters: Qwen Ballard, graduate assistant and Susan Lawhead, coordinator

Summary: The Black Male Initiative and Native Space, two new housing initiatives, aim to promote the retention and success of black male and Native undergraduates. Preliminary assessment indicates a rise in GPA and increasing interest/participation.

Presenter: Paul Nolan, student body president

Summary: Students have led and participated in several events focusing on activism and influence, including a “Blackout” on September 23 to protest police killings, a student government resolution to support undocumented and DACA students, the Reclaim MLK March, the United Not Divided Rally in support of marginalized groups, the Run for Razan to commemorate NC State student Razan Abu-Salha, the move to create a memorial near the College of Design from Abu-Salha’s art and the move to restore the international flags from the pre-renovation display in Talley Student Union.

Presenter: Tommy Griffin, director of admissions

Summary: Admissions offers these three programs to promote the recruitment of Native American students, first-generation students and diverse high school students.

Presenters: Dr. Mike Mullen, vice chancellor and dean, Division of Academic and Student Affairs and Brayndon Stafford, student body vice president

Summary: Chancellor Woodson has charged a task force to review efforts to recruit outstanding underrepresented students, consider national best practices to increase the enrollment of admitted underrepresented students, assess methods, and evaluate existing and potential new programs to support retention. The task force will provide a report of findings and recommendations to the chancellor this spring.

Presenter: Major Frank Brinkley, NC State Police

Summary: NC State Police have a robust curriculum of diversity and sensitivity training and that includes Unconscious Bias training, developed in partnership with the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED). Supervisors within the police department also enroll in OIED’s Equal Opportunity Institute.

Presenters: Brad Bohlander, chief communications officer

Summary: University Communications has increased coverage and infusion of diversity throughout the NC State website, including several home page features, in-depth articles and social media and collaborated with the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity to publish a new Diversity landing page, available on the top level of the NC State website.

Presenter: Elizabeth Snively, OIED Communications

The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity hosts or sponsors over 150 events per year. We encourage everyone to subscribe to the Diversity Digest weekly newsletter to keep up with events and check the OIED website for event and program calendars. There is now a campus-wide diversity calendar on the Diversity landing page. Units can contact OIED Communications to add their diversity events. Follow @NCStateOIED on Twitter and Instagram.

Feedback and Slides

The presentation concluded with Q&A, announcements of upcoming events and an opportunity to provide feedback via an online form.

The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity thanks all the presenters and attendees for their participation as we work to continually improve diversity and inclusion at NC State.