Chapel Hill, NC – The UNC System Racial Equity Task Force will meet today to discuss feedback from a System-wide survey and virtual town halls and receive input on its draft recommendations. The meeting starts at 1 p.m. and will be live streamed on UNC-TV.
The task force was established in June to explore how race and equity impact the experiences of students, faculty, and staff and to develop tangible steps that can be implemented across the System.
“It is important that we thoroughly examine all of the feedback that we have collected and use it to better inform our work. Today, I look forward to gaining insights from the report and spending as much time as we need revising the draft recommendations,” said Task Force Chair Reginald Ronald Holley.
The survey, conducted September 15-30, provides insights on race and equity from the perspectives of students, faculty and staff throughout the UNC System. Feedback from the virtual town halls, held in October, will also contribute to today’s discussion. During these sessions, university community members discussed the need for greater mental health support, increased diversity and inclusion practices throughout the System, and opportunities to improve equity in areas of student recruitment and retention, and employee retention and promotion. More than 16,000 students, faculty and staff responded to the survey, and 3,500 participated in the virtual listening sessions.
“It is critical to me, both personally and professionally, that we get this right,” Holley said.
The task force is scheduled to prepare a final report for the Board of Governors that will identify final recommendations and implementation strategies. The report is due to Board Chair Randy Ramsey and UNC System President Peter Hans on December 16.
“To serve North Carolina, we need to welcome the talent and ambition of all North Carolinians,” said Hans. “We have fallen short of that goal in the past, and it will take commitment from all of us to get there now. I am devoted to this effort as president, as a citizen of North Carolina, and as a person who believes deeply in our shared capacity to learn and do better.”
Task force members have spent several months examining three focus areas: student recruitment, retention and outcomes; equity in employee recruitment, retention and promotions; and safety and inclusivity on campuses. Task force staff members have also conducted focus group meetings with student, faculty, and staff leaders, equity advocates, and diversity and inclusion representatives from each of the institutions.
“I’m grateful to the members of the task force and to all participating students, faculty and staff who provided such honest and hopeful feedback,” said Hans. “They’ve done a tremendous service to the University and to North Carolina. Sincere self-reflection is the hallmark of a thoughtful, effective institution, and that’s what we aspire to be.”
“Today is a step forward in our commitment to supporting racial equity across our System and an opportunity to ensure everyone has the resources they need to be successful at our institutions,” added Holley.
To view the live-streamed meeting, visit https://www.unctv.org/watch/live-stream/bog/. To learn more, visit www.northcarolina.edu/unc-system-racial-equity-task-force.