Diversity Plan Goal 4
Goal 4. Create and sustain a climate in which respectful discussions of diversity are encouraged and take leadership in creating opportunities for interaction and cross group learning.
The Carolina environment must be nurtured in order to create a climate in which the values of diversity will take root and flourish. Respectful, thoughtful interchange is at the core of a dynamic environment that values the contributions of all members of the university community and is committed to living its diversity values in everyday learning, research and work settings. Particular attention must be paid to assure that underrepresented members of the university community and staff members in service roles are accorded the welcome and respect they deserve as members of the Carolina community.
For students, it is important to expand opportunities for informed, respectful interchange. Co-curricular opportunities for enhancing understanding of diversity are especially important. Increased residential hall diversity programming is important, as are programs which engage student in other informal learning settings. To encourage further student engagement, a new Chancellor's Award should be established to recognize student leadership in diversity initiatives.
For faculty, further encouragement is needed to include discussion about the value of diversity to their curriculum and the value of a diverse faculty. The development of incentives for faculty to incorporate diversity into existing coursework and to develop new courses is also needed. Support should be provided to faculty for the development of strategies that enhance school- and department-level climates for underrepresented staff, students and faculty.
For staff, diversity must be addressed by supervisory and management staff in order to create climates in the workplace that are conducive to open and civil exchanges. Staff need to be provided with a safe environment where all employees are welcome to express their ideas about diversity. Particular attention should be paid to the interests of maintenance and service workers.
Examples of benchmarks that can help measure the success of efforts to promote a positive climate and to stimulate discussion of diversity include:
- Residence hall programs clearly include diversity issues.
- Establishment of the Chancellor's award for student leadership in diversity.
- Staff report inclusive work environments.
- Diversity competency is incorporated into supervisor annual performance reviews.
- Staff report increase opportunities to discuss diversity issues with colleagues in open and civil exchange.
- Enhanced retention of underrepresented students, faculty and staff.