The report, conducted by advisory and strategic communications firm APCO, revealed the system has a huge task to remove concerns of distrust and discrimination throughout its 17 public colleges and universities.
The system's Racial Equity Task Force interviewed more than 3,500 faculty, staff and students of color.
Among the groups most pressing concerns:
- Closing funding gaps between historically minority serving schools and predominately white schools
- Equity and transparency in hiring, promotions and pay
- More investment in mental health, a top concern among students of color surveyed
- Campus police reform
The survey also revealed these alarming concerns:
- 44 percent of Black and brown faculty said they have experienced micro aggressions, discrimination and even harassment
- 30 percent of students of color said that's been their experience too
- One in five faculty, staff and students of color don't feel included on campus
"This is a unique opportunity to effectuate change and if we fail to do so, it would have been worse than doing nothing at all. We must respond with action and tangible items.," said Dr. David Green, a member on the Racial Equity Taskforce.
The board recommended more accountability-tracking, reporting and measuring of the UNC system's progress with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, and act on any missteps.
The second is improve recruitment, hiring and retention strategies to create a racially diverse student, faculty and staff body, which would include reviewing pay practices and increasing financial aid counseling.
And last, the task force suggests the system establish an executive position with representatives to oversee and implement equity plans.
The 12-member task force will submit final recommendations to the UNC system board of governors next month on Dec. 16 for approval.