Chair's Blog

Dear students, staff and faculty,

Welcome back to the Fall 2020 semester. I am sure there are some bumps as we return to learning but I know that all of us are happy to have some kind of routine back in our lives.

I am thrilled at Chancellor Gaber’s decision to appoint a Diversity and Inclusion leader at the Cabinet-level. This individual will report directly to the Chancellor and will attend all meetings where major decisions are made about our campus. I am particularly excited that Chancellor Gaber has chosen Dr. Cheryl Waites-Spellman, as our Diversity and Inclusion leader. Dr. Waites-Spellman is a Professor in the School of Social Work with a history of working with African American older adults in culturally appropriate ways.

Why is this announcement so important? Even before the killing of Keith Lamont Scott in 2016 (just 1 mile from campus), faculty and students had been advocating for a Chief Diversity Officer at UNC Charlotte - someone who’s full-time job is to oversee and implement initiatives to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas of our campus. Many other colleges and universities have this leadership position. Finally, our new Chancellor has heard our voice.

Advocacy can generate great change. I am hopeful that this first step will help transform our campus into an open, supportive, and equitable environment for all students, faculty and staff.