n my experience, universities, or at least most of them, operate from a
sound moral compass. Each campus has its own culture and a list of
or a document envisioned as the roadmap for future success.
These documents are important strategic planning and budgeting tools. And
my guess is those plans have diversity somewhere
on the “to do” or “priority” list. It’s probably in the
top 10. It needs to be. Morally, culturally, and
strategically, increasing diversity in higher education
is essential to our society’s future success.
At Carolina, we’ve operated for the past five
years under an Academic Plan intended to be a
blueprint to guide our strategy and budget
decisions. One of our priorities is to increase
diversity among our faculty, students, and staff—by
continuing to recruit the best people; by integrating
into the curriculum more of the culture, history, and
concerns of African Americans, Native Americans,
Latinos, and Asian Americans; and by engaging in
more partnerships with the state’s historically
minority universities.
Because I oversee our campus budgeting process, I have some opportunities
to put my own stamp on things. In my office, we’ve funded numerous specific
efforts in recent years; this year, several new initiatives were aimed at
diversifying the mix of students studying in the health sciences, including
dentistry, medicine, and public health. The newly invested dollars—nearly
$300,000—do not seem large based on a $2 billion-plus annual budget, but
I believe they were sound expenditures for our university. We also have funded
RLI 263 1
Diversity in
Research Universities
Bernadette Gray-Little, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bernadette Gray-Little
Photo: Dan Sears, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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