The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UNCG fully supports and values an inclusive community with visible and meaningful representation of diversity. We seek to promote a climate of civility and respect, where diverse viewpoints and experiences are welcomed. We are committed to protecting the rights of all to ensure that each person in our community is empowered, valued and respected for their contributions to the mission of this university. As a minority-serving institution, we are proud to embrace our role as serving a large, diverse student body and we are committed to our mission as providing access and opportunity for all.
We believe that the complex challenges of science are best approached from a collective of individuals with a wide range of perspectives and life experiences. Our Department’s commitment to offer a welcoming and nurturing environment for people from all walks of life is reflected in our demographic composition at all levels and is a major contributor to our success. Today, women comprise a nearly equal percentage of our tenured/tenure-track faculty, which is something that we take pride in given the 60% gender gap of the average of the top 50 Chemistry Departments, and the 36% gap of the most diverse of those schools! Furthermore, 43% of our teaching faculty, 50% of our staff, 50% of our graduate students, and 63% of our undergraduate students are women. In addition to strong gender diversity, our faculty and staff members are members of other under-represented groups and individuals with non-traditional career paths.
The student body in our Department has a strength in racial and ethnic diversity with 66% of our undergrads self-reporting as non-white, 29% being Black or African American, and 15% being LatinX. Similarly, our graduate students are 58% non-white, 17% Black or African American, 8% LatinX, and 19% are international students. The Department also is home to many members of the LGBTQ+ community, student veterans, first-generation students, and non-traditional students. By training students from diverse backgrounds, we are proud to be building the pipeline of future chemists from underrepresented groups. At the same time, we recognize that our faculty is much less racially and ethnically diverse than our student body, and closing this gap is a major goal for us. We are seeking to recruit diverse faculty in future hires, with a particular emphasis on individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or LatinX.
Our Department strives to continue our efforts to recruit and support diversity in a variety of ways, including:
- Spearheading multiple initiatives to improve our Department’s climate around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). A committee composed of faculty, staff, postdocs, undergraduate students, and graduate students has been established to make our Department more welcoming for all its members.
- Hiring diverse faculty with particular attention to racial and ethnic diversity.
- No longer requiring the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission. GRE is an identifier of race and socio-economic status and is an economic burden on applicants.
- Inviting speakers conducting research around DEIA to share evidence-based strategies to overcome barriers to equity and diversity in academia.