A Message from the Dean on Diversity

The Gillings School welcomes you!

Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH

Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH

Our legacy of diversity and inclusion. Since the School began more than 75 years ago, our faculty, students and staff have sought to make the Gillings School a diverse and inclusive environment, even as they worked to create the social and physical conditions to support health for all. Like most universities and schools, we are not where we’d like to be, and we’re going to work even harder to get there.

SPH2020, a renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion. In 2010, our School’s leadership engaged in a strategic planning process, SPH2020, in which we asked faculty, staff, students and alumni to weigh in about their vision for the Gillings School in 2020. Hundreds shared their thoughts, and a group of very wonderful, dedicated people came together as the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and created a report that has been our roadmap for the past seven years.

Where we are today. Over the last couple years, we have come together, as a community, to reflect at various times on current events that have shaken members of our community. We’ve supported students leading Black Lives Matter, taken new steps to increase the diversity of our faculty, staff and students, revised our leadership statement about diversity and inclusion, and hosted major events as part of the yearly Minority Health Conference and National Health Equity Research Webcast. We are proud that the Minority Health Conference is the largest and longest-running student-led health conference in the U.S.

Becoming more diverse and inclusive. We are not going to stand still. We aim to become more diverse and inclusive and are in the process of recruiting an assistant dean for inclusive excellence who will work with faculty, staff and students and Gillings and across campus with Vice-Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, Rumay Alexander EdD, RN, FAAN. This is an amazing, welcoming and civil community. We welcome people of all backgrounds, skills, preferences and interests to be part of our community.

–Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor