Diversity, Equity and Inclusion FAQ

 In Spring 2017, the BioSci faculty and staff came together to create the Department’s first Strategic Plan. This document was shared as a living document in July 2017 and committees were formed. The BioSci Strategic Plan can be accessed on the front page of the departmental website here. This committee was initially formed as a group of faculty and staff working on drafting the diversity and inclusion sections of the strategic plan. The committee grew organically as additional faculty and staff volunteered. In 2020, the committee joined forces with the HHMI Inclusive Excellence Grant team in order to share resources and work together toward common goals.

  • Diversity is the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective. Populations that have been-and remain- underrepresented among practitioners in the field and marginalized in the broader society.
  • Equity is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.
  • Inclusion is an outcome to ensure those that are diverse actually feel and/or are welcomed. Inclusion outcomes are met when you, your institution, and your program are truly inviting to all. To the degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decision-making processes and development opportunities within an organization or group.

Working toward diversity without working toward equity and inclusion is unjust. Attempting to increase the numbers of individuals from marginalized and minoritized backgrounds and identities in an organization without addressing systemic barriers and sources of oppression that exist in the organization directly harms these individuals. The higher education system in the US was built on systems of oppression. It was built to exclude, to educate certain groups of people and to further concentrate wealth, power, and resources. Many of the overtly exclusive policies no longer stand — colleges and universities are no longer legally segregated — but that doesn’t mean that oppressive structures aren’t still part of the higher education system, part of predominantly-White institutions such as NC State, and part of our department. Thus, we cannot focus solely on increasing recruitment or representation of individuals from underrepresented groups.

All faculty and staff will be participating in a minimum of 9 hours annually of continuing education related to DEI. To assist in this process, we will provide a list of recommended workshops/activities that you can take on your own and some that will be scheduled during regularly scheduled departmental meetings.
  • For staff, continuing education related to diversity, equity, and inclusion will be discussed along with other elements of your performance during your annual review process.
  • For faculty, continuing education related to diversity, equity, and inclusion will be documented on the FAR by listing the sessions attended and writing a narrative describing how the sessions you participated in impacted (or will impact) your teaching, research, or mentoring. The Department Head will discuss this narrative with you during your annual review meeting.

The following are recommended trainings available through campus entities: