UNC Greensboro is one of three original University of North Carolina system campuses and has a long-standing commitment to academic excellence. UNC Greensboro was established in 1891 as the first public college for women in North Carolina. The first African American students were admitted in 1956 and UNC Greensboro became coeducational in 1962. With over 20,000 students, UNC Greensboro is a Doctoral R2, community engaged campus. We are a wonderfully diverse campus with students that are ~67% female, ~35% African American, ~11% Hispanic, and ~52% low income. Additionally, ~23% of the UNC Greensboro student body identify as LGBTQ+. UNC Greensboro is the most racially diverse of the UNC system’s historically white campuses and is designated as a Minority Serving Institution with a core mission value inclusiveness. At the undergraduate level in STEM majors, 68% are female and 50% identify as minority students. At the graduate level in STEM majors, 65% of are female and 12% identify as minorities. We celebrate our student diversity and are proud of our success in reducing the black-white graduation gap.
Spartans ADVANCE is a multi-year NSF funded project that seeks to address the need for increasing diversity and inclusion on our faculty, especially gender equity in STEM departments. Although we recruit equal numbers of male and female Assistant Professors in STEM, we lack equity at Associate Professor and Professor levels. We also have clear patterns in research outputs that show inequity, with male STEM faculty members ahead in proposal submissions, awards, success rate, and grant size. Based on our self-study and literature review, we have identified three areas of need for that will require actions to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at UNC Greensboro.
First, we will work towards equity in the numbers of male and female associate professors and full professors across STEM departments at UNC Greensboro; currently these numbers are male biased in STEM departments. Our actions for this first area of need will include institutionalizing promotion and tenure (P&T) and search committee enhancements for EDI. We will also leverage our intra-institutional research networks to enhance a culture of care as sources of mentors and collaborative centers for information dissemination.
Second, we will work towards gender equity in the number of external research proposals submitted, the number of external grants awarded, and the grant award size within STEM departments at UNC Greensboro; currently these numbers are male biased in STEM departments. Our actions for this second area of need will include developing a culture of care for faculty through mentoring, and standardizing the review of external research proposals by the institution through Associate Deans of Research and Department Heads/Chairs with an eye to EDI in each proposal, including the size of budget and the efforts towards resubmissions, and through coordinating proposal preparation through the Office of Research and Engagement, the Office of Sponsored Programs and existing cross and interdisciplinary intra-institutional research networks.
Third, we will work towards awareness, standardization, and implementation of policies that promote career- life balance at UNC Greensboro; several important policies exist on our campus, but our self-study shows that there is some confusion about the policies and how they are implemented in practice. Our actions for this need will include the dissemination of existing career-life balance policies at UNC Greensboro on a clear, centralized and advertised website, as well as creating new mechanisms to support STEM PIs who are parents. We will create a Spartans ADVANCE ally system. These individuals will support our initiatives, advocating for programs and policies that enhance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at UNC Greensboro and enforce the culture of care that exists on our campus but that needs to be uniformly distributed.