Diversity & Inclusion
We must continue to foster a deep commitment to supporting diverse communities and appropriately encouraging frank and honest conversation. Our commitment leads us to envision a future where all UNC Asheville students, faculty, and staff know they belong regardless of their race and ethnicity, age, religion, disability, socio-economic status, gender expression, gender and sexual identity, national origin, culture, and ideological beliefs.
UNC Asheville’s commitment includes ensuring that our curriculum and programs reflect the diversity of the world and our community; that our education embraces inclusive teaching and learning styles; that ongoing efforts are made to create a multicultural environment throughout the campus; that we include diverse perspectives in all conversations concerning the advancement of the university and our society; and that our recruitment, hiring and administrative practices place high value on all aspects of diverse identities.
Diversity Action Council
The Diversity Action Council at UNC Asheville was established in 2008 to address and promote diversity on campus. The DAC aims to create a holistic and specific definition of diversity that targets our responsibility in relation to underrepresented groups, as well as to develop specific student, faculty, and staff recruitment plans to meet those responsibilities.
What is Diversity at UNC Asheville?
I. Statement of Principles
UNC Asheville must prepare students to live and grow in a diverse world. Diversity and inclusion is a core value in our strategic plan; as such, we are committed to honestly and continuously examining diversity and inclusion within our campus community and climate. Therefore, we must provide our students, faculty, and staff with rich opportunities to engage with one another. We must recruit, enroll, hire, retain, and support underrepresented students, faculty, and staff in order to enhance our environment for learning and exchange. We want our campus to reflect the diversity of our contemporary world. The idea of diversity changes and requires continual review. Thus, diversity must be integral to the UNC Asheville experience. We believe:
- Diversity is basic to achieving a free, equitable and just society.
- Diversity is a matter of action, as well as representation.
- Diversity must oppose coercive assimilation.
- Advancing diversity is deliberate; it takes practice and requires skill.
- Diversity is essential to developing critical thinking skills because it provides opportunities to be exposed to and engage with multiple perspectives.
- Diversity is essential to the development of academic rigor and as an institutional value contributes to student success.
At UNC Asheville, diversity means championing an inclusive and sustainable community, one in which people of all backgrounds interact respectfully and in which each member is valued. To reach this goal requires that we actively engage, support and embolden the range of human diversity on campus, including but not limited to dimensions such as race and ethnicity, age, religion, disability, socio-economic status, gender expression, gender and sexual identity, national origin, immigration status, veteran status, parent status, and cultural and ideological beliefs.
Diversity and inclusion in the United States has not progressed without conflict and reversal, all the while making unquestionable progress toward an expansive understanding of human rights and dignity. Our efforts at UNC Asheville are expended in this context, within an understanding of the historical forces which have created our moment in time. We wish to foster an environment where we focus on progress, and where we learn as well how most productively to redirect institutional challenges in ways that capitalize on the opportunities they represent.
We seek to examine and transform university structures, policies, and practices that reinforce privilege and advantage. We recognize that every member of our community has a role in creating a culture of inclusion.
By so doing, we prepare human beings to live in a diverse world. To navigate in such a world, we must have the capacity to empathize, to exercise patience, to encourage active listening, and to develop authentic relationships with people who are different from ourselves.
UNC Asheville is a community committed to intellectual growth for all participants and we value honest discourse. We realize that these efforts may sometimes become challenging; nevertheless, UNC Asheville will be a safe place for all. Everyone in this community must act responsibly to achieve this goal.
Create a holistic and specific definition of diversity that targets our responsibility in relation to underrepresented groups. Develop specific student, faculty, and staff recruitment plans to meet those responsibilities.
Linkage to UNC Tomorrow
Goal 4.2.5 - Increase educational attainment of under represented populations.
Our thanks to all of you who have sent feedback and ideas on diversity at UNC Asheville. This definition, now considered to be in its finished form, is nevertheless dynamic and subject to review and change as our work on campus proceeds. As always, we would be happy to hear from you concerning any aspect of this work. Comments?