History of Inclusive Community Initiative

In August of 2008 the Faculty Senate and Office of the Provost agreed to jointly sponsor and support the creation of The Inclusive Community Task Force. The primary purpose of this Task Force was to further assess and make recommendations for increasing the level of inclusiveness on the UNCG campus. Dr. C.P. Gause & Professor Susan Dennison were requested to serve as Co-Chairs of this Task Force and they identified 26 faculty, staff, and students from UNCG and two members from the larger Greensboro community to serve as members of this Task Force. This Task Force met monthly during the 2008/2009 academic year and divided into five sub-groups to address the five major goals of this Task Force. These goals included developing a UNCG endorsed definition of an inclusive community, conducting a campus climate assessment, formulating a plan to better communicate & coordinator programs that contribute to campus inclusiveness, identifying additional ways that UNCG can become a more inclusive community, and developing a rationale and position description for the new position of Vice Chancellor of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion.

Initiative Goals Attained in 2008/2009

This Task Force successfully met all five goals which resulted in a university endorsed definition for an inclusive community that is now posted on the Office of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (OEDI) home page. A campus climate survey was conducted that validated UNCG’s progress toward being a community that is both more accepting of its diverse population and more inclusive. Specific recommendations were formulated and presented to the Provost for ways that events that focus on diversity appreciation/training and building a more inclusive community could be more effectively marketed. A rationale/ job description was delineated for the current new open position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. A Sub-group of this Task Force determined that the ideal way to identify additional ways to improve the level of inclusiveness of the university would be to conduct panels (i.e., focus groups) representing groups of unrepresented members of the campus. As a result, the following panels were conducted this year: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersecting, Queer, and Questioning (GLBTIQQ) Students, Staff Members, Minority Faculty Members, Minority Students, International Degree Seeking Students, &; Male Students. Data surfaced from the latter panels can be found in the Task Force’s Final Summary Recommendation Report.

Task Force Recommendations to Provost & Chancellor

After a very successful first year for this initiative, the Inclusive Community-Task Force presented the following recommendations to Chancellor Brady and Provost Perrin.

  • Establish the University wide Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Fall 2009
  • Secure office space for Office of Equity and Inclusion, Fall 2009
  • Identify budgetary resources to support the initiative, Fall 2009
  • Identify graduate assistant to serve the initiative, Fall 2009
  • Eliminate Campus Unity Council and fold their work (Campus Unity Survey) into the initiative, Fall 2009
  • Establish and maintain a collaborative coordinated university-wide communication network to develop and deploy a university wide events calendar, Fall 2009/Spring 2010
  • Present proposed rationale and position description for the Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to targeted university community groups, Fall 2009/Spring 2010
  • Continue thematic data surfacing panels including students with disabilities, adult students, housekeeping staff, and new faculty members in 2009/2010.
  • Finalize webpage development and deployment, Spring 2010

Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

After several meetings between the Initiative Co-Chairs C.P. Gause & Susan Dennison and Chancellor Brady and Provost Perrin at the onset of the 2009/2010 academic year, it was decided that this Task Force would transition to The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Chancellor Brady announced this change during her state of the school address in August 2009 along with the opening of the OEDI office that would initially be overseen by this Advisory Committee with assistance from a graduate assistant. Chancellor Brady’s charge to this Advisory Committee was to identify two to three initiatives based on the data surfaced from two years of panels and open forums. She requested that this group submit these recommendations in the form of a proposal with a budget for her review and approval. In addition, the Chancellor requested this group to think carefully about the title for a senior position that would provide leadership for the Office of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion. Futher, this group was requested to determine what current programs on campus might be ideally placed under the administration of this office. C.P. Gause and Susan Dennison were requested to stay on as Co-Chairs of this Advisory Committee.

Advisory Committee Goals Attained in 2009/2010

The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee conducted the four planned panels during this academic year and one open forum where they shared the results from the 8 panels interviewed during the 2008/09 and 2009/10 academic years. The results from these panels can be found in the two final summary reports submitted to the Provost and Chancellor for these two academic years. In early spring 2010 the Chancellor announced to the Advisory Committee that she had secured permission and support to begin a search in the 2010/1011 academic year for an Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. At the conclusion of this year the members of this Advisory Committee recommended to the Chancellor that the following three initiatives be further examined and delineated such that they can be fully operationalized at the conclusion of the 2010/2011 academic year.

  1. Expansion of university support services to include GLBTIQQ students, faculty, & staff
  2. Expansion of retention & recognition efforts regarding students, faculty, & staff with a particular focus initially on staff members
  3. Review & potentially revise hiring policies & practices to ensure greater diversity in administrative positions at UNCG.

After much discussion the members of the Advisory Committee agreed that all three initiatives will require more input and support from key members of the campus community. Therefore, two Co-Chairs for each initiative have been identified from members of the current Advisory Committee. Dr. Jay Poole and Jeffrey Coleman will Co-Chair the initiative that will target expanding services on campus to include GLBTIQQ students, faculty, and staff members. Professor Susan Dennison and Ada Baldwin will Co-Chair the initiative that will target expansion of retention and recognition efforts particularly for staff members. Rod Wyatt and Cynthia Barnes will Co-Chair the initiative that will examine current hiring policies and practices in regard to administrative positions at UNCG with the goal of increasing the level of diversity at this level. All three sets of Co-Chairs are being requested to select one Advisory Committee meeting during the 2010/11 academic year where they will invite key members of the university community to participate in a discussion that will further delineate how their particular initiative can be operationalized and supported by the university.

Advisory Committee Plan for 2010/2011

Rod Wyatt and Susan Dennison will serve as Co-Chairs of this Advisory Committee for the 2010/2011 academic year with the membership of this committee remaining the same. There will be two meetings during each semester with the first three focusing on further developing each of the recommended initiatives and the last one being an open forum. During the latter meeting with all members of the campus this Advisory Committee will seek further assistance and input into how each of the three recommended initiatives can be successfully operationalized at UNCG. This Advisory Committee will then meet with the Chancellor and Provost in late spring 2011 to present the three recommended initiatives with delineated budgets for each.

Several members of this Advisory Committee have also been requested and have agreed to serve on the search committee for the new Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion which is being chaired by Dr. Gwyn O’Neal.