Inside Higher Ed | University of North Carolina at Asheville

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University of North Carolina at Asheville

University of North Carolina at Asheville

UNC Asheville, North Carolina’s designated public liberal arts and sciences university, frequently ranked at the top of The Princeton Review’s list for “Making an Impact,” brings together rich relationships among faculty, students, and staff with a high value on diversity and inclusion, innovation and sustainability, and prepares students to be engaged citizens and curious problem solvers, ready for the careers of today and tomorrow. 

One of 17 institutions in the University of North Carolina system, and international headquarters of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), UNC Asheville offers more than 30 undergraduate majors and a Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree. Enrolling 3,800, UNC Asheville encourages students to take part in a nationally acclaimed undergraduate research program and participate in interdisciplinary learning. From internships and hands-on projects, to study abroad and community engagement, students experience an education that extends beyond campus into the vibrant city of Asheville, the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and the world.

UNC Asheville’s 400-acre campus is located in the heart of Asheville, N.C., less than two miles from a thriving downtown and within driving distance of more than 250 independent restaurants and 500,000 acres of National Forest. The campus connects to the community through recently constructed greenways, shared studio space in the River Arts District, and numerous events and activities including summertime Concerts on the Quad as well as cultural events and special academic programs. UNC Asheville fields 16 NCAA Division I teams, competing in the Big South Conference, and in 2016 the university earned national attention as both the men’s and women’s basketball teams ended their regular seasons with conference championships and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

Known nationally as one of the top 10 public liberal arts universities, UNC Asheville also makes the list as a Best Buy (Fiske Guide) and Best Value (Kiplinger’s). UNC Asheville has been ranked first and second in the nation for "Making an Impact" by The Princeton Review in 2016 and 2018, respectively, citing community service opportunities, student government, sustainability, and on-campus student engagement as driving factors, as well as recognizing graduates with high job meaning.

The university is committed to living the core values of diversity, innovation, and sustainability. Numerous university centers and programs extend this mission beyond the academic courses, caring for the community through a focus on diversity education, health and wellness, environmental resiliency, and lifelong learning, and serving as a community hub for creative entrepreneurship. These mission-driven initiatives ensure that UNC Asheville expands access to higher education, supports its scholars and employees, and makes an impact in the local area and throughout the state. 


Diversity Profile: University of North Carolina at Asheville

At UNC Asheville, diversity means creating and supporting an inclusive and sustainable community, one in which people of all backgrounds interact respectfully and in which each member is valued. To reach this goal requires that we enhance the range of human diversity on campus, including but not limited to dimensions such as race and ethnicity, age, religion, disability, socio-economic status, gender expression, gender and sexual identity, national origin, culture and ideological beliefs.

The University of North Carolina at Asheville will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, age, sex, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran’s status or genetic information. UNC Asheville will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and the employees are treated during employment, without regard to these categories. Such action shall include, but not be limited to, the following: employment, promotion, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation; and selection for training. Discrimination against any individual based upon these categories is prohibited. UNC Asheville will post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, this Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy.

UNC Asheville will, in all solicitations or advertisements for employees placed by or on behalf of UNC Asheville, include language indicating that UNC Asheville is an EEO/AA Employer.

UNC Asheville shall base employment decisions on the principles of equal employment opportunity and with the intent to further UNC Asheville’s commitment to affirmative action and equal employment opportunities. It is a violation of this policy to take an adverse employment or academic action against any student, faculty or staff member because he/she has opposed a practice they reasonably believe to be discriminatory, or participated in any investigation or proceeding in accordance with this policy. Procedures for filing and managing allegations of discrimination or harassment are addressed in UNC Asheville’s Unlawful Workplace Harassment Policy.

UNC Asheville’s EEO Administrator is responsible for oversight of the University’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program and for monitoring its effectiveness. UNC Asheville invites any employee or any applicant for employment to review UNC Asheville’s written Affirmative Action Program (AAP). Any questions should be directed to Nicole Norian, UNC Asheville’s Human Resources Director.

Applicants are encouraged to identify their race and gender during the application process. This self-identification is strictly voluntary and confidential, and will be used solely for legally required reporting purposes. This information will not be used in any other way and will not be shared with hiring officials.

Employees are invited to self-identify as an individual with a disability, special disabled veteran or other covered veteran. This self-identification is strictly voluntary and confidential and will be used solely for legally required reporting purposes. This information will not be used in any other way.

UNC Asheville must prepare students to live and grow in a diverse world. We must provide our students, faculty, and staff with rich opportunities to engage with one another. We must recruit, enroll, hire, retain, and support underrepresented students, faculty, and staff in order to enhance our environment for learning and exchange. We want our campus to reflect the demography of our region and state. Thus, diversity must be integral to the UNC Asheville experience. We believe:

  • Diversity is basic to a free society.
  • Diversity is a matter of form as well as content.
  • Diversity opposes coercive assimilation.
  • The idea of diversity changes and requires continual review.
  • The achievement of diversity is difficult; it takes practice and requires skill.

The achievement of diversity is difficult; it takes practice and requires skill.

At UNC Asheville, diversity means creating and supporting an inclusive and sustainable community, one in which people of all backgrounds interact respectfully and in which each member is valued. To reach this goal requires that we enhance the range of human diversity on campus, including but not limited to dimensions such as race and ethnicity, age, religion, disability, socio-economic status, gender expression, gender and sexual identity, national origin, culture and ideological beliefs.

We seek to examine and transform university structures, policies, and practices that reinforce privilege and advantage. We recognize that every member of our community has a role in creating a culture of inclusion.

By so doing, we prepare human beings to live in a diverse world. To navigate in such a world, we must have the capacity to empathize, to exercise patience, to encourage active listening, and to develop authentic relationships with people who are different from ourselves.

UNC Asheville is a community committed to intellectual growth for all participants and we value honest discourse. We realize that these efforts may sometimes become tense or difficult; nevertheless, UNC Asheville will be a safe place for all.  Everyone in this community must act responsibly to achieve this goal.

Diversity in Academics

Diversity Action Council (DAC)

The Diversity Action Council at UNC Asheville was established in 2008 to address and promote diversity on campus.  The DAC aims to create a holistic and specific definition of diversity that targets our responsibility in relation to underrepresented groups, as well as to develop specific student, faculty, and staff recruitment plans to meet those responsibilities.

Lunch-n-Learn Series

Lunch-n-Learn Series is a forum that provides an informal environment for students to engage with fellow students, faculty/staff, and community members.  Guest speakers present on based on their personal and professional multicultural experiences.  The goal is to increase opportunities for our students to experience more diverse views and cultures, rich discussions, and openness.

Lunch-n-Learn Series is provided at no cost to attendees, but attendees should bring their own lunch. Please check the Multicultural Student Programs calendar for the latest information.

Watch-n-Learn Series

Watch-n-Learn Series provide students, faculty, and the community opportunities to engage in a diverse range of films that addresses many topics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and/or religious affiliations. Additionally, the Intercultural Center and Multicultural Student Programs will pick films that are relevant to specific heritage months. This event will be free.

Center for Diversity Education - The Center for Diversity Education— through exhibits, field trips, road shows, a lending library, and staff development opportunities— provides direct and in-direct programming to over 20,000 students, teachers and citizens throughout WNC.

Diversity Support Services

Student Organizations:


Alliance is an organization dedicated to individuals at the university that identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Two-Spirit, Intersexed, and Straight Allies.   Visit Alliance's Tumblr or request to join the Alliance Facebook group for updates and recent activity.  Please email [email protected] for more information.

[email protected] [email protected] en Las Americas (HOLA) - Proud Sisters and Brothers in the Americas

HOLA is an organization that connects students with the Latino community throughout Western North Carolina. HOLA organizes on-campus events and volunteer opportunities in the community. We also sponsor and support a number of Latino groups in the community including  TELASH, COLA, Nuestro Centro, and Defensa Comunitaria.  Visit their Facebook page to see the group's recent activities.

Jewish Student Association (Hillel)

For Jewish and non-Jewish students who want to form a comfortable atmosphere for religious, cultural, and recreational activities. Aims to educate everyone about Judaism and the Jewish Civilization.  Visit UNC Asheville Hillel's Facebook group for recent activities.

Feminist Collective

The Feminist Collective is an organization that functions as a safe space for all feminist identified people to interact and share ideas. We provide feminist programming for UNC Asheville’s campus and collaborate with many other student organizations to create change. We are committed to promoting community service and the exchange of ideas in order to progress change locally and globally. We acknowledge and celebrate the many different feminist identities that exist within our group and encourage others to open their mind to the many different feminisms that exist around the world. Everyone is welcome to join.  Visit the Feminist Collective's Tumblr for recent updates.

Muslim Student Association

The Muslim Student Association is a group that seeks to introduce the community and familiarize it with Islamic culture and thought by sharing the spirit of Islam with Muslims and non-Muslims.  We also seek to promote a sense of community among Muslims on campus by encouraging adherence to Islamic ideals to further individual and collective growth.  Charity events and zakat, raising money to donate to organization, and service events for the community. Muslim Student Association can be reached through e-mail [email protected].

Black Student Association

The BSA exists to strengthen and encourage personal development among Black students and to foster high ideals for leadership, responsibility and cooperation.  The organization also upholds the pride, prestige and cultural consciousness of all minority Americans through the implementation of cultural, educational and motivational ventures planned for the entire UNC Asheville community. Membership is open to anyone interested in the goals of BSA.  Visit the BSA's Facebook group for recent events.

International Student Association

The International Student Association is a group of international and American students and staff who get together to explore the cultures of our diverse community and university. We participate in campus events and activities; sponsor musical events, foreign films, international fashion shows, and food samplings; and have fun!

Asian Students in Asheville (ASIA)

ASIA represents the increasing population of Asian/Asian-American and Pacific Islander students here at UNC Asheville. The organization is to promote Asian/Asian-American awareness through social, cultural, and educational events. The presence of A.S.I.A. on campus is to help Asian/Asian-American students in their academic and social lives and to merge the gaps between Asian/Asian-American students and students of other cultures. We hope, by forming this group, to enrich the diversity programs on UNCA campus by a variety of activities we hold.  A.S.I.A. strives to bring to light the true diversity of cultures spanning the Asian continent. Membership is open to all UNC Asheville students.

Secular Student Alliance

The UNC Asheville Secular Student Alliance’s purpose is to: 1) create a community to address and alleviate the isolation experienced by nontheists by cultivating a socially and intellectually engaging environment, 2) promote tolerance and understanding by addressing misconceptions, stereotypes, and discrimination against nontheists, and 3) advance the separation of church and state through community outreach and political activism.  Visit the Secular Student Alliance's Facebook page or the Facebook group for more information.

Email [email protected] for more information about any of these organizations.

More Organizations and Programs

Our university is situated in one of the most vibrant cities in the Southeast. With a population of 70,000 in the city and 391,000 in nearby metro areas, Asheville offers an inviting downtown, exciting outdoor adventures, a thriving arts community and an array of eclectic dining opportunities.

There's always plenty to do in Asheville.

Find out about other ways to engage in the community here.


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Jobs at University of North Carolina at Asheville

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University of North Carolina at Asheville Announcements

Hires and Promotions
  • Garikai Campbell

    Provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs

    Date Announced: May 6, 2019
  • Nancy J. Cable


    Date Announced: June 1, 2018

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