The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Sunday, March 3, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

New dean candidate emphasizes diversity

Dr. Kim Barrett (front), Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the five candidates for Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences visited campus Tuesday for a public interview. Executive Vise Provost and Chief International Officer, Ronald Strauss (background) introduced her and lead the Q&A portion of the interview.
Dr. Kim Barrett (front), Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the five candidates for Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences visited campus Tuesday for a public interview. Executive Vise Provost and Chief International Officer, Ronald Strauss (background) introduced her and lead the Q&A portion of the interview.

McGhee, chairperson of the Carolina Black Caucus and information technology manager in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, attended Kim Barrett’s open forum for her candidacy for the position of dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on Tuesday. There, Barrett stressed diversity in the academic world.

“It was refreshing to hear you say that UNC has a very good diversity and multicultural affairs program, yet that shouldn’t let the colleges within the University off the hook,” he said to her during the forum.

UNC has been searching for a new dean to replace current Dean Karen Gil, and Barrett is among four other finalists seeking this position.

During her forum, Barrett, dean of graduate studies at the University of California San Diego since 2006, emphasized the need for diversity.

“Unless everybody cares about diversity and unless everybody is responsible for it, equity, inclusion and diversity don’t happen,” Barrett said.

She said while the University’s efforts are important, the College of Arts and Sciences needs to be making its own.

Barrett is a native of the United Kingdom and was a first-generation college student herself. She believes her experience as a first-generation student has and will continue to help her as a dean.

Barrett has three characteristics that she believes make for a successful college: an emphasis on student learning and engagement, an inclusive community and interdisciplinary initiatives.

“While higher education should not simply be a preparation for the world of work, much as many politicians would like us to make it so, we would be misserving our students and their parents and indeed the public if we don’t provide people with the skills to succeed for a lifetime of career,” Barrett said.

Tina CoyneSmith, director of development and prospect management in the Arts and Sciences Foundation, said she enjoyed Barrett’s presentation.

“I really appreciate your thinking about initiatives that will advance the college,” CoyneSmith said to Barrett.

CoyneSmith also asked about Barrett’s experience and vision regarding funding for the college — a topic Barrett acknowledged as a difficult task for any dean.

“Public universities going forward are going to have to be incredibly entrepreneurial to fulfill the full promise of everything that they can do, and a huge part of that has to be private support,” Barrett said, admitting she did not have a ton of experience in the matter.

university@dailytarheel.com

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.