The UNC Policy Manual


Adopted 09/20/19


Policy on Diversity and Inclusion Within the University of North Carolina


I.             Purpose. The Board of Governors adopts this policy to support and facilitate efforts across the University to advance diversity and to foster an inclusive environment that engages, respects, and values all members of the University community and to ensure such efforts are carried out in an effective manner.


II.           Definitions. For purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:


A.               “Chancellor” means the administrative and executive head of a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, as described in Section 502 of The Code.


B.                “Constituent Institution” means any one of the 17 degree/diploma-granting institutions that comprise the University of North Carolina.


C.                “Diversitymeans the ways in which individuals vary, including, but not limited to, backgrounds, personal characteristics, ideas, beliefs, cultures, and traditions that distinguish one individual or group from another, which may include, but are not limited to, Federal, State, University, and constituent institution protected classes.


D.               “Inclusion” means the enablement of individuals, including those from underrepresented groups, to fully and equitably have access to, and participate in, the University’s programs, services, facilities, and institutional life.


E.                “Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)” collectively means the intentional efforts undertaken to create an institutional culture and a working and learning environment that offers acceptance, support, and respect for a diversity of individuals as they pursue their academic, research, and professional ambitions and interests.


F.                “Equal Opportunity (EO)” means the right of individuals to be considered for admission to, employment by, and promotion within the institution on the basis of merit, experience, and qualifications, without unlawful or impermissible discrimination with respect to federal, State, University, and constituent institution protected classes.


G.               “President” means the chief administrative and executive officer of the University of North Carolina, as described in Section 501 of The Code.


III.          Statement of Commitment. The University features equality of opportunity in education and employment as a core value. To support this value and to meet the University’s educational, research, and public-service goals in an increasingly diverse and global society, the University needs the talents and skills of all qualified and available individuals. To this end, the University is committed to building a culture and community that actively supports and promotes diversity and inclusion for its students, faculty, and staff, and for members of the general public who access our programs, services, and facilities.


IV.          Accountability

A.               Division of Responsibility. Responsibility for diversity and inclusion efforts shall be shared by the UNC System Office and the constituent institutions as determined by the president or president’s designee. Responsibilities shall also incorporate appropriate reporting to the boards of trustees, the president, and the Board of Governors to ensure that individual and collective efforts have a measurable and meaningful effect.

B.               System-Wide D&I Metrics. A common set of D&I metrics across the University system is necessary to conduct trend analysis, leverage experiences and successful approaches across constituent institutions, identify areas for future investments, and drive accountability for outcomes from D&I investments. To this end, the president shall set a defined number of system-wide D&I metrics that all constituent institutions shall track. These metrics shall complement the D&I goals specific to the distinctive mission of each constituent institution.


V.           Reporting and Dissemination Requirements


A.           Reporting to Boards of Trustees. Each constituent institution, through its chancellor, D&I Officer, or other chancellor designee, shall provide a report at least annually to the board of trustees on D&I-related information as identified by the president or president’s designee. The board of trustees may request or require additional or more frequent information to be reported related to D&I operations, programs, and activities.


B.           Reporting to the System Office and Board of Governors. Each constituent institution shall provide to the System Office, upon request of the president or president’s designee, relevant information regarding the EO and D&I operations, programs, and activities of the constituent institution.


C.           Dissemination of D&I Policies and Information. Constituent institutions shall periodically provide information describing their institutional D&I policies and programs to students, faculty, and staff, consistent with any requirements set by the president or president’s designee.


VI.          Other Matters


A.           Effective Date. This policy shall be effective on the date of adoption by the Board of Governors.


B.           Relation to State Laws. The foregoing policy as adopted by the Board of Governors is meant to supplement, and does not purport to supplant or modify, statutory enactments which may govern the activities of public officials.


C.           Relation to Other University Policies. The foregoing policy as adopted by the Board of Governors is meant to supplement, and does not purport to supplant or modify, other University policies, regulations, and guidelines related to equal opportunity, free speech, and free expression.


D.           Regulations and Guidelines. This policy shall be implemented and applied in accordance with such regulations and guidelines as may be adopted from time to time by the president.