Inside Higher Ed | Western Carolina University

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Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University

About Us

Western Carolina University offers a collaborative community of faculty and staff eager to partner together to support the success of our students and our institution. We attract employees who are inspired to work in higher education because of the difference we can make together in the lives of the more than 10,000 students who study at WCU. For a few other reasons WCU is a great place to work:

Do you like being involved in the local community? So do we. We have robust service learning and community outreach efforts that invite students, faculty and staff to serve our local community in an ever-growing number of ways.

Western Carolina University has been named the Top Adventure College in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Our main campus in Cullowhee is situated 15 minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have a biking and hiking trail on campus and many more in the area.

We attract students who are eager to excel. WCU has the oldest and largest Honors College in the UNC system and is consistently among the Top 5 institutions nationally for undergraduate research projects accepted to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

We are a cultural hub for the region. Our College of Fine and Performing Arts produces professional-quality theater under the direction of Broadway star Terrance Mann, and our music programs are recognized as some of the best in the state. Our Pride of the Mountains Marching Band has been invited to the Macy's parade and the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Our healthcare programs are some of the most competitive in the southeast and are housed in an incredible LEED-certified facility complete with some of the best technology in teaching along with community clinics for applied learning.

For more information, please visit our website at


Western Carolina University (WCU) has been honored in multiple areas demonstrating our commitment to our students, faculty, staff and our community.  Our distinguished faculty includes national award-winning authors, nationally and internationally recognized experts, and winners of Emmy, O’Henry, and National Endowment for the Arts awards – to name a few.  WCU has been named a Top Green College by Princeton Review, is among the Top 5 for Undergraduate Research in the nation, and has been named by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as a Best College Value.  Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine has named WCU the Number 1 Outdoor Adventure College for three years running.  The WCU Pride of the Mountains Marching Band is a Sudler Trophy recipient, having led the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rose Bowl Parade.  WCU is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the Top 12 Best Online Programs for the Military as well as #27 among institutions in the South for Best Colleges for Veterans.

Faculty and Staff are honored annually with a broad range of Teaching, Scholarship and service honors.  For more information, please visit our website at


Western Carolina University offers a wide array of high quality benefit plans from which to choose. These include comprehensive health and welfare insurance plans, a choice between two retirement programs, both of which provide a valuable retirement benefit, as well as optional retirement savings opportunities. Employees also benefit from a generous leave program. For more information please visit our benefits page at UNC Benefits

Diversity and Inclusion

Western Carolina University has a commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse employees who bring to our campus varied perspective and cultural understanding. Our Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs aspires to strengthen diversity as an integral component of excellence at WCU. Among public universities, our institution leads the region in student body diversity, and our diversity metrics are growing.

Mission and Vision

Our Mission (who we are):

To improve individual lives and enhance economic and community development in our region, state and nation through engaged learning opportunities in our academic programs, educational outreach, research and creative activities, and cultural activities. 

Our Core Values and Guiding Principles (what guides and inspires us):

Excellence in Scholarship, Teaching, and Learning

Collaboration with and Respect for our Communities

Free and Open Interchange of Ideas

Responsible Stewardship and Organizational Effectiveness

Organizational and Environmental Sustainability

Cultural Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Our Vision Statement (who we want to be):

To be a national model for student learning and engagement that embraces its responsibilities as a regionally engaged university.


Diversity Profile: Western Carolina University

WCU defines “diversity” broadly as encompassing exceptionalities, race, ethnicity, culture, religious background, gender, linguistic differences, socioeconomic level, and any other ways our society defines human and group differences, including age, geography, sexual orientation and national origin. Western Carolina University is committed to the total development and well-being of all members of the University community - students, faculty, staff, and the public.

Western Carolina University is committed to the total development and well-being of all members of the University community - students, faculty, staff, and the public. In support of this commitment, Equal Opportunity Programs works to ensure that the University is free of discrimination and harassment in its workplace and classrooms.

The purpose of these programs is to help develop, implement, and monitor the university's equal opportunity policies, including those relating to non-discrimination and affirmative action, and to ensure compliance with all relevant federal, state, and university statutes and policies. More about these programs here.

Western Carolina University's Policy Statement on Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity:

Western Carolina University  is committed to the principle that educational and employment decisions  should be based on an individual’s abilities and qualifications regardless of race, color, national origin, creed, religion,  sex, age,  gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation , veteran status, disability, or political affiliation, except where religion, sex, or age are bona fide job related employment requirements. This is in keeping with Section 103 of The Code of The University of North Carolina, North Carolina General Statutes 126-16 and 126-17, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1968 as amended, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, and other applicable federal and state laws relating to discrimination in educational programs and employment.  In accordance with Executive Order 11246, Western Carolina University has in place an Affirmative Action Plan that states the university’s commitment to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, military veteran status, political affiliation or sexual orientation.

Henry D. Wong, Rh.D., C.R.C.
Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs
520 H.F. Robinson Admin. Bldg.
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC  28723
Office: 828-227-7116
Fax: 828-227-7047
[email protected]

James Felton
Director of Intercultural Affairs (for Student Clubs and Social Networks)
Center for Student Involvement
3rd Floor Hinds University Center
Office: 828.227.2276
[email protected]

Watch Henry Wong, Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs, discuss Western Carolina University's Commitment to Equal Opportunity and Diversity here.

WCU defines “diversity” broadly as encompassing exceptionalities, race, ethnicity, culture, religious background, gender, linguistic differences, socioeconomic level, and any other ways our society defines human and group differences, including age, geography, sexual orientation and national origin.

Two initiatives endorsed by the Chancellor and recommended by WCU in the UNC Tomorrow Report include 1) establishing a Chief Diversity Director and 2) development and implementation of a Council on Diversity and Inclusion (CODI) linking student and employment diversity resources, programs, initiatives, and goals. Establishing the CODI would facilitate goals of 1) developing a campus-wide diversity plan and 2) linking student and employment diversity resources, programs, initiatives, and goals.

Dr. Henry Wong in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs ([email protected]) will chair this Council in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources involving a broad-based representation of campus faculty, staff, and students. The CODI would be congruent with WCU’s strategic plan 2008-2013 supporting cultural diversity and equal opportunity. 

The CODI initial work plan would be to a) nominate/appoint council membership, b) complete a strategic work plan, c) complete a campus-wide diversity plan, d) develop/implement an on-going diversity climate survey and e) recommend university-wide diversity initiatives. The work plan would be on-going annually and reviewed by the Acting Vice Chancellor for Operations and the Office of Human Resources. Proposed membership of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion:

  •     - Director for the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs – Chair
  •     - Office of Human Resources EEO and Affirmative Action representative – Co-chair
  •     - Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Advancement and External Affairs
  •     - Dept. of Athletics
  •     - International Programs
  •     - Faculty Senate Chair
  •     - Staff Senate Chair
  •     - Student representatives (One undergraduate designated by the VC for Student Affairs and one graduate designated by the Dean of the Graduate School

Faculty or staff representatives from each college/school nominated by their respective Deans include:

  •     - Arts & Sciences
  •     - Business
  •     - Education & Allied Professions
  •     - Fine & Performing Arts
  •     - Health & Human Sciences
  •     - Kimmel School
  •     - Hunter Library

See here for the completed Diversity Plan for WCU:  Executive Summary Diversity Plan 2012-2013.

Affirmative Action Programs

Discrimination & Harrassment Prevention

Diversity Initiatives

Disability Services

Employment and Hiring

Equal Opportunity Resources

Gender Equity/Title IX Information

Training and Educational Opportunities

Resources on Campus - A diverse community requires an extensive and varied support system.  WCU is committed to providing the resources necessary to offer the appropriate support for the campus community’s diverse needs.  The offices in this link provide leadership and guidance to campus diversity initiatives.

Student Organizations

Involvement in student organizations is an important way for students to connect and explore interests, develop ideas, learn from others and gain a better appreciation for working in diverse settings.  WCU offers students a variety of formal organizations in which students can get involved and engage as leaders and facilitators in their own learning process and that of their fellow students.

Office of International Programs and Services

The Office of International Programs and Services (IPS) exists to connect and engage Western Carolina University (WCU) with her surrounding community, region and state, and the world-at-large by fostering internationalization.

Cullowhee & the Region

Cullowhee, the community where WCU makes its home, lies in a scenic valley in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina—just 30 miles from the Appalachian Trail.

Each year, millions of visitors are drawn to the region’s spectacular landscapes and opportunities for many outdoor sports, including world-class mountain biking, backpacking, and whitewater rafting and kayaking.

When you visit, be sure to catch a bluegrass or local music concert, check out examples of the area’s traditional arts and crafts, and spend some time exploring the unique shops and restaurants of the surrounding towns and communities.

We invite you to browse these resources as you plan your visit to Cullowhee and the region.


AAUP Compensation Survey Data
Western Carolina University


Jobs at Western Carolina University

  • Executive Director for Economic Development and Regional Partnerships #132739

  • Cullowhee, NC
  • Posting DetailsPosting NumberEHRA426PQuick Link for Internal Postings TitleDirectorWorking TitleExecut

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  • Director for the School of Nursing - #000983

  • Cullowhee, NC
  • Posting DetailsPosting NumberFAC418PQuick Link for Internal Postings TitleAssociate/Full ProfessorWork

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  • Executive Director of Creative Services #003118

  • Cullowhee, NC
  • Posting DetailsPosting NumberEHRA420PQuick Link for Internal Postings TitleExecutive DirectorWorking T

  • View Details

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