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The Department of Biology believes that diversity is crucial to our pursuit of academic excellence. We are deeply committed to creating a diverse and inclusive community where all can thrive. Diversity at all levels of our department – students, staff, and faculty – enhances our teaching, mentoring, the research questions we ask, the hypotheses we generate, and the experimental and theoretical approaches we employ to test and refine these hypotheses. Diversity in our department drives creativity and innovation to benefit the people of North Carolina, and the world.

The department supports the University’s mission to build a diverse and inclusive community as described in Chancellor Guskiewicz’s vision: “Carolina is taking actions that speak for our intentions. We will work together to create and sustain the kind of community where all feel welcomed, respected and free to pursue their goals and dreams. We are committed to coordinated processes and programs that celebrate all forms of diversity and build upon Carolina’s equitable and inclusive learning environment.” Aligned with this mission, the department supports UNC’s policy, which states that “The University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment and to ensuring that educational and employment decisions are based on individuals’ abilities and qualifications. Consistent with these principles and applicable laws, it is therefore the University’s policy not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status as consistent with the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct. No person, on the basis of protected status, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under any University program or activity, including with respect to employment terms and conditions. Such a policy ensures that only relevant factors are considered and that equitable and consistent standards of conduct and performance are applied.”


STATEMENT OF SUPPORT, ADVOCACY AND ACTION OF STUDENT PRIORITIES AND DEMANDS MADE BY UNC-CHAPEL HILL’S BLACK STUDENT MOVEMENT, CAROLINA BLACK CAUCUS AND BLACK GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL STUDENT ASSOCIATION:

“Our demands of this university are designed to protect the Black community at UNC, as well as to end the systemic opresssion and exploitation of [the black] community.”
DEMANDS FOR SAFETY:

  1. Incorporate the student-generated anti-racist alerts into the Carolina Alert system to notify students.
  2. Terminate the employment of acting police chief Rahsheem Holland, who forcefully shoved Black students out of a recent UNC Board of Trustees meeting.
  3. And hire permanent, full-time Black counselors trained in racial trauma and increase Black staff members in Title IX and the Women’s Center.

DEMANDS FOR EQUITY:

  1. Use a metric-driven recruitment strategy for Black faculty and reinstatement of VITAE program for more diverse hires.
  2. Publish equity scorecards for university departments that show data on student enrollment, discrimination complaints and why Black employees are leaving.
  3. Create a permanent memorial for James Cates, a 22-year-old Black student who was killed on campus in 1970.
  4. Restore and contextualize the Unsung Founders Memorial on campus.
  5. Put information on all syllabi about grade appeal and the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office, which handles issues of harassment and discrimination


MENTORING CORNER

The Department of Biology considers mentoring a critical component to the development of a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community of scientists. Please visit our mentoring resource page to read more about how we foster the implementation of this concept.


GRADUATE STUDENT DIVERSITY

Diverse experiences, backgrounds, viewpoints, and contributions are key elements for the success of any enterprise. The Graduate School at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to sustaining a diverse graduate student body and fostering a climate of inclusion and acceptance. We aim to contribute to the successful degree completion of each student through targeted academic and professional development programs. For more information, please visit the Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success Program website.

Diversity Initiatives Committee
Kevin Slep (Chair of Diversity Initiatives Committee)
Ty Hedrick
Bill Kier
Alain Laederach
Amy Maddox
Maria Servedio


Kevin Slep, Associate Chair, Diversity & Inclusion

Associate Professor
(919) 962-4858
kslep@bio.unc.edu