Higher Ed, race

UNC System Racial Equity Task force launches community survey, pushes deadline to December

The UNC System Racial Equity Task Force  has extended the deadline for its final report to the UNC Board of Governors. It will now deliver the report December 16 rather than in October, as was previously announced.

The task force launched a system-wide community survey Tuesday that will collect suggestions for that final report.

UNC Board of Governors member Darrell Allison, chair of the Racial Equity Task Force

“We have spent the last few months learning from students, faculty, staff, listening to ideas that will help us improve the UNC System,” said UNC Board of Governors member Darrell Allison, chair of the task force, in a statement Tuesday. “As we continue examining our policies and asking tough questions, I know we’ll come away with some excellent ideas for strengthening our System.”

The board of governors established the task force in June “to examine the legacy of race and racism in North Carolina’s public higher education system.” The group’s work has focused on three major priorities: equity in the recruitment and overall academic experience for students, equity in employee recruitment, hiring, promotion, and leadership opportunities, and building and maintaining safe, inclusive campuses, where students and employees feel a sense of belonging.

The task force was assembled after board members and faculty from various schools called for the system to concentrate on long-neglected race equity issues. It was instigated by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and the resulting weeks of international protest against police violence and systemic racism.

“George Floyd died a horrible, violent, and unjust death at the hands of a white police officer,” UNC Board of Governors Chair Randy Ramsey and UNC System Interim President Bill Roper wrote in a message to members in June. “This immoral and indefensible act cries out for justice and compels all of us fully to recognize and grapple with our country’s history of racism and oppression that has so often resulted in violence. As members of the University community, it is our obligation and responsibility to do the hard work needed to address inequities in the UNC System for the benefit of students, faculty, staff, and all North Carolinians.”

The force’s next public meeting is scheduled for October 7.

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