At Monday's Faculty Executive Committee meeting, members raised questions about the role of diversity in more than just the student body.
Provost Jim Dean said many students have expressed discontent with regard to racial issues on campus, the most prominent being the diversity of faculty. They want to be able to look up at the person teaching them and see a face that looks like theirs, he said.
Dean said the conversation with students is continually evolving.
“We’re not making speeches to each other, we’re making plans for what we can do together. We’re collaborating in the true sense of the term, and I think that’s where we needed to get to," he said. "We’re building enhanced mutual respect for each other. I hope the students will continue to be patient with us.”
Dean said faculty hiring is pretty decentralized and takes place at the department level. Only 11.2 percent of UNC’s faculty members are underrepresented minorities. This is better, though, than many other large, comparable universities, he said.