A commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion at UNCSA

Dear UNCSA Community,

In June, we shared a statement condemning the violence committed against George Floyd and so many other Black people in our country, and reaffirming our opposition to racism and injustice. As I indicated then, I know that now is not the time for words, but rather a time for this institution and all of its people to take action. Our Black students, staff, faculty, alumni – and all people of color in our community – deserve nothing less than our complete commitment to welcome and foster diversity, to vocally and structurally oppose racism, and to deeply embed equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into all UNCSA values and actions.
Over the past six weeks, I have been collaborating with Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Patrick Sims; Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs Karen Beres; Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Tracey Ford; EDI consultant Shayla Herndon-Edmunds; as well as Student Body President Nic Brown and Murphy Applin Jr., president of the Artists of Color student organization, to develop the framework for how our institution will begin this important work. Our leadership is committed to implementing intentional and strategic efforts to tackle the systemic problems of racism and inequity in society and our institution. This framework is designed to provide an initial path for our institution to make significant and sustained change, both in the short and long term, and provide a needed level of accountability and guidance. It is a blueprint for what we need to build together that intends to provide structure for the work while leaving space for listening, learning and development along the way.
I want to thank everyone for the time and collaboration they have provided to get us to this point. I also want to acknowledge that this framework is the continuation and expansion of the hard work started by numerous people over the past several years, from the many students in Artists of Color and our Student Government Association, to our faculty, staff and Interim Provost Karin Peterson.

What this framework now needs is your participation – our entire community’s passion and commitment to make progress and sustain real change in our institution and society.
Black Lives Matter. They matter to me, they matter to this institution, and they must matter to anyone who wants to be a part of it.


Brian Cole

August 3, 2020