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UNC System’s Racial Equity Task Force Calls For Changes To Policing, Staffing Diversity And More

A pedestrian uses a tunnel walkway at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
A pedestrian uses a tunnel walkway at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
A pedestrian uses a tunnel walkway at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Credit Gerry Broome AP Photo
A pedestrian uses a tunnel walkway at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

The UNC System Racial Equity Task Force has submitted itsfinal reportrecommending changes across North Carolina's public universities. 

 

The UNC System's former President Bill Roper and Board of Governors Chairman Randy Ramsey created the task force days after a police officer in Minneapolis killed George Floyd, sparking a national reckoning on racism.

 

The group's six central recommendations encompass:

  • diversity and equity staffing
  • hiring and retention practices
  • data and accountability
  • diversity and inclusion education 
  • programming in support of racial equity
  • campus policing

 
The report lays out 28 action steps that range from new hiring practices, to improved mental health services and financial aid counseling for students of color, to policing practices that reduce student arrests. The report does not lay out a timeline for implementation. 

 

The task force also called for a new executive position at the UNC System office to ensure that the report is acted on.

 

Earlier this month the UNC System took that recommendation by hiring Darryl Bass as its first associate vice president of Equity, Engagement and Employee Relations. Bass comes from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, where he was the executive sponsor of the agency’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group.

 

“I’ve tried to hire Darryl for years,” said UNC System President Peter Hans, who previously served as president of North Carolina’s Community College System. “He is top notch in this field.”

 

Bass will help lead the implementation of the recommendations across the UNC System.

Copyright 2021 North Carolina Public Radio

Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Policy Reporter, a fellowship position supported by the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. She has an M.A. from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Media & Journalism and a B.A. in history and anthropology from Indiana University.