On Sept. 8, 2020, Chancellor Sharon Gaber announced that Dr. Cheryl Waites Spellman, Ed.D. is the new Interim Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at UNC Charlotte. Waites Spellman began this new, temporary position on Sept. 16, and a search for a permanent leader will take place in the spring semester. This position was put in place to “strengthen and expand our efforts” to make UNC Charlotte a welcoming environment for learning and teaching.
As a member of Chancellor Gaber’s Cabinet, Dr. Waites Spellman will organize with faculty, staff and students to foster a more diverse environment on campus. Waites Spellman described her responsibilities to the Niner Times as follows:
Assessing the University’s diversity, equity and inclusion-related functions for efficacy and efficiency to determine how to best support the functions and identify service gaps and redundancy
Developing an organizational framework to strengthen and make consistent existing diversity, equity and inclusion-related partnerships and functions across the University, with the expectation that the units focused on this work will have a dotted reporting line to this position
Developing a strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion for the 2020-2021 academic year. Goals and metrics should be aligned with the stated goals in the UNC System’s strategic plan related to access, student success, and diverse and excellent institutions
Coordinating with campus leaders, faculty, students, staff and internal and external constituencies to ensure consistent diversity and inclusion programming that creates an inclusive campus for all and supports the college’s values, by eliminating systemic barriers
Providing counsel to the Chancellor and Cabinet on diversity and equity-related issues.
Representing the institution at the system level, including serving on the UNC System Office’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.
“With this role, we will work to leverage the talents of our students, faculty, staff and alumni so that UNC Charlotte will continue to serve as one of North Carolina’s most diverse and inclusive hubs for teaching, research and service,” said Waites Spellman.
Chancellor Gaber created this position as her first senior appointment since she began her tenure in July. According to Dr. Waites Spellman, “We’re proud of all UNC Charlotte has done to build equity throughout our campus community. Still, Dr. Gaber recognizes there is more work we can do as our campus becomes even more diverse. This new position shows her commitment to diversity and inclusion and is an opportunity to build on the University’s efforts.”
“We have a responsibility not only to participate in but lead meaningful community-wide conversation on this important topic, particularly during this critical moment in our country’s history,” said Chancellor Gaber.