Staff Portal

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources

Developing the Pipeline

One way to improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in UNC Student Affairs is to actively engage in developing and cultivating a pipeline of diverse applicants. Following are ideas for resources to help develop and cultivate a diverse staff in Student Affairs.

Develop and Cultivate Partnerships with Graduate Preparation Programs

Create internship or graduate assistant opportunities for students in graduate preparation programs that may result in future employment opportunities.  Consider inviting students in graduate preparation programs to visit campus for informal conversations or events.

Utilize Faculty and Staff Resources at UNC Chapel Hill

Current faculty and staff may serve as resources to recommend promising candidates.

Affinity-based professional conferences

Attend at affinity-based professional conferences or coordinate with colleagues attending affinity-based conferences and provide materials about UNC Chapel Hill and opportunities in Student Affairs.

Here is a summary of professional and affinity-based organizations in higher education and Student Affairs.

Showcase diversity within UNC Student Affairs

Showcasing staff in Student Affairs and colleagues from diverse backgrounds talking about their careers and experience at UNC would inform and motivate others to consider employment at UNC Chapel Hill. An example of a video is provided in the DEI Toolkit. Acknowledgement: Dr. Sibby Anderson Tompkins, Special Advisor to the Provost and Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion and Interim Chief Diversity Officer at UNC Chapel Hill.

Resources for research, data, and best practices

Resources for research, data, and best practices and emerging innovations for Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Acknowledgement: Dr. Sibby Anderson Tompkins, Special Advisor to the Provost and Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion and Interim Chief Diversity Officer at UNC Chapel Hill.

Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions
The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI), housed in the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, serves as a repository for research, data, best practices, emerging innovations, and ideas on and within MSIs.

Educational Advisory Board Report - Instilling Equity and Inclusion in Departmental Practices
Although the report focuses on faculty, the strategies are also relevant for Student Affairs including upstream recruitment, engaging prospects with professional development (graduate assistants/interns), job ad composition, anticipating future hiring needs, incorporate graduate assistant/interns in profession/student affairs culture, and elevating diversity statements in search process.

UNC System Minority Serving Institutions Committee
The UNC System Board of Governors created a special Committee on Historically Minority-Serving Institutions in 2018 to study and assess six institutions’ unique challenges and promising opportunities. The goal of the committee is to create strategies that will ensure these institutions’ future growth by promoting investments, opportunities, and awareness throughout the state.

Carolina Hiring Playbook

The Carolina Hiring Playbook is an Onyen protected tool created to help HR representatives, hiring managers and other members of the Carolina community navigate our improved hiring process for permanent, non-faculty positions (SHRA and EHRA non-faculty). The Playbook will continue to be updated to reflect policy changes and incorporate further improvements.

Recruitment Process

The following action steps are specific to Student Affairs to confirm support and approval for the recruitment process regardless of whether the recruitment is for a vacancy or a new position. The process is required for all recruitments in Student Affairs.

Recruitment Approval Process

  1. Develop a brief summary for the request and include the following information:
    • Explanation/Justification for the request
    • Explain how the request meets the exception reason (i.e. necessary to support COVID; necessary to support clearly essential University functions; mandated by law or policy; required by employment contract; or other)
    • Explain why the action must occur now and describe the consequences of delaying the action until the temporary suspension is lifted.
  2. Confirm support and approval from the Department Head
  3. Department Head responsibilities:
    • Notify respective HR representative about the desire to recruit
    • Notify respective Student Affairs Finance Lead about the desire to recruit and confirm available funding based on the proposed hiring range
    • Confirm support and approval from the respective Associate Vice Chancellor
  4. Department Head or respective Associate Vice Chancellor submits the brief summary to recruit position and the proposed hiring range to the Senior Executive Team (SET) for review and support
  5. If supported by the SET, an Essential Action Request Form can be prepared and submitted for review and approval by Central Finance. See the DEI Forms section of the DEI Toolkit website
  6. Central Finance must approve the request before the recruitment process can continue

Essential Action Request Form

After the Senior Executive Team has confirmed support for the recruitment, use the Essential Action Matrix to complete the Essential Action Form.  Once completed, submit the Form to the Senior Director of Student Affairs HR. Once reviewed and supported, the Essential Action Form is submitted to the Major Campus Unit (MCU) contact for Student Affairs, which is the Senior Director of Business and Finance.  The form is submitted to Central Finance for review and approval. The request must be approved by Central Finance before continuing with the recruitment process.

Form and Matrices

The Essential Action Request Form is Onyen protected - visit the page and click on the Essential Action Request Form link.

Position Descriptions

  • Revise the Position Description for Vacancy Recruitments
  • Create a New Position Description for New Positions

Once the Essential Action Request Form has been approved by Central Finance, efforts can focus on the position description. The information in the position description is critical because the content will be used in the position posting on the UNC OHR website. In addition, the position description serves as the basis for how performance will be evaluated.

Position Description Review and Approval

Once the position description has been completed, use the following steps to submit the document for review and approval.

  1. Submit the position description to the HR representative in your respective business hub
  2. Submit an updated organizational chart with the position description request.

Selecting the Search Committee Chair and Members

Search Committee Selection Process

  1. Review the Search Committee guidelines in the Carolina Hiring Playbook
  2. Select a search chair
  3. Confirm the search chair with the department head as appropriate
  4. Choose a committee that reflects the diversity of the university as much as possible (e.g., faculty rank, gender, veteran status, race, campus partner outside the unit)
  5. Include individuals who have broad perspectives and a commitment to diversity
  6. The search chair is responsible for confirming that all members of the search committee are aware to complete the search committee training

Create a Budget and Timeline for the Search

Confirming the budget and timeline for the search is an important step prior to posting the position.

Confirming the Budget

  1. Most SHRA searches are posted on the UNC HR website and proceed without a hiring budget. Some EHRA N/F searches proceed without a budget; however, most are posted either regionally or nationally. All SHRA and EHRA N/F positions are posted on the UNC HR website
  2. Review publications and resources for posting the position
  3. Estimate expenses by identifying publications that may require a payment for posting the position
  4. Estimate expenses associated with the campus interview. Consider options for having remote interviews if travel restrictions are in place
  5. Determine if moving expenses will be included in the appointment offer

Timeline for the Search

  1. Contact the HR representative in your respective business hub to establish the timeline for the search process
  2. Review the Carolina Hiring Playbook (see "An Overview of the Hiring Journey")

DEI Publications and Resources

Enhance visibility for the position by advertising with targeted industry and professional organizations, listservs and other networking resources in professional associations and campus contacts.

Posting the Position

Prepare a posting template based on whether the position is SHRA or EHRA N/F. Identify locations where the position will be posted to include in the posting template.

Posting Template Process

  1. See the SHRA Posting Template in the Forms section of the DEI Toolkit website. Template for Student Affairs includes ideas for DEI questions to include with the posting
  2. See the EHRA N/F Posting Template in the Forms section of the DEI Toolkit website. Template for Student Affairs includes ideas for DEI questions to include with the posting
  3. For EHRA N/F positions, create the advertisement for the position. See Forms section of the DEI Toolkit website for EHRA Position Advertising templates
  4. Update and include the organization chart and call-out the desired position
  5. Once completed, submit the posting template and other materials to the HR representative in your respective business hub

Charging the Search Committee

Prepare to provide the charge and plan for the initial search committee meeting.

Charging the Search Committee

  1. Schedule an initial meeting with the search committee where the hiring authority provides the charge and answers questions regarding the desired qualifications of the applicants
  2. A member from Student Affairs HR should be invited to attend and provide expectations regarding the search process, answer any questions, and also provide information regarding Equal Opportunity and Compliance.
  3. Planning for the Initial Search Committee Meeting
  4. The search chair should confirm that all members of the search committee have completed the required training module
  5. Schedule the initial search committee meeting either before or immediately after the position has been posted
  6. Prepare to discuss and confirm the evaluation criteria and matrix for the application review. See the in the Forms section of for the DEI Toolkit website
  7. Identify screener(s) from the search committee members who can review the applications as they are submitted and identify applicants for further consideration
  8. Be mindful of biases that may be present
  9. Beware of over-valuing applications that arrive early in the process
  10. Utilize the checklist resources for selecting a candidate as provided in the Carolina Hiring Playbook (see "Selecting a Candidate")

Preparing the Search Committee

At the initial search committee meeting, the search chair should lead a discussion regarding how the members of the search committee will evaluate and define diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Following are some examples to help the committee frame what everyone is looking for in a quality answer.  Acknowledgement: University of Washington.

Note: The guidelines for a quality answer should be reflective of the position role and responsibilities, including entry level, mid-level, or high-level position. 

Sample Question: How have you committed yourself to understanding and aiding in the pursuit of equity and inclusion in your professional and or personal life?

Examples of Guidelines for a Quality Answer (guidelines should be customized based on the consensus of the search committee):

  • Actionable: ability to articulate specific actions or steps taken
  • Clearly articulates or explain their “why” or “motivation”
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the terms (equity and inclusion)
  • Ability to articulate and explain connection between equity/inclusion and their personal and/or professional opportunities
  • Acknowledges the challenges and difficulties of this work
  • Demonstrates specific classes, tools, resources, trainings used to gain more understanding.

Sample Question: What steps have you taken to mitigate your biases in the workplace?

Examples of Guidelines for a Quality Answer (guidelines should be customized based on the consensus of the search committee):

  • Clearly demonstrates knowledge of bias in general and different types of bias
  • Able to articulate and explain self-awareness of their own biases
  • Clearly defines their measure of success or failure
  • Acknowledges challenges around recognizing and minimizing biases in the workplace
  • Speaks to knowledge of personal impact of biases as well the impact on others
  • Identifies specific steps taken and additional growth and resources desired

Sample Scenario: You are in a departmental meeting/training where a co-worker communicates that they feel targeted by the facilitator’s micro-aggressions. They express that they feel they need to communicate this to the facilitator after everyone else has left They seem uneasy and very much affected. What is your response?

Examples of Guidelines for a Quality Answer (guidelines should be customized based on the consensus of the search committee):

  • Actionable: What specific actions would they take? Did they use “I” statements?
  • Clearly demonstrates importance of acknowledging and validating their co-workers feelings and concerns
  • Acknowledges personal challenges or difficulties of the scenario
  • Did they act as an ally or advocate?
  • Articulates and explain how they would support and follow-up with their co-worker

Using Structured Evaluation Methods

Create a rubric that is based on the criteria in the position description for the application review, telephone or skype interview, and campus interview segments of the search process. All materials for the application review and interview process are collected and archived as needed for future reference.

Evaluation Methods for the Application Review

  • Sample matrix in the Carolina Hiring Playbook:
  • Sample template for Student Affairs: See Application Review Matrix in the Forms section of for the DEI Toolkit website
  • Create your own application review matrix.
  • Evaluation Methods for the Telephone/Skype/Zoom and Campus Interview
  • The Equal Opportunity & Compliance Office recommends interviewing at least three candidates based on university and corporate standards with guidance from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance
  • Sample Candidate Interview Format for Student Affairs: See the sample format in the Forms section of the DEI Toolkit website
  • Sample Candidate Evaluation Matrix template for Student Affairs: See the matrix in the Forms section of the DEI Toolkit website includes sample candidate questions about their experiences related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Adapt and create your own application review matrix.

Reference Checks

The process of conducting reference checks is an important step in the hiring process. Reference checks allow for confirming observations of the candidate in the search process and also provide an opportunity to ask more specific questions regarding the knowledge, skills, and abilities that may have been identified in the interviews.

Reference Check Process

  1. Consult with the hiring authority to determine the preference for who is conducting the reference checks
  2. Confirm if the reference checks will occur before the final interview or following the final interview
  3. Contact the candidate in advance to notify them that reference checks are in process
  4. Utilize a template with questions that are consistent for all of the finalists. Add additional questions as appropriate that are unique to the candidate based on recommendations by the search committee to clarify or confirm observations during the interview process

Evaluating the Finalists

When evaluating the finalists the search committee should identify strengths and weaknesses for each candidate.

Evaluating the Finalists

  1. Review the helpful tips in the Selecting a Candidate section of the Carolina Hiring Playbook
  2. Compile evaluation forms from all individual and group interviews
  3. Summarize the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate
  4. Determine if any of the finalists should not receive further consideration
  5. Prepare an overview summary of strengths and weaknesses and feedback from the reference checks for the hiring authority for further consideration.

Once the hiring authority has selected the preferred candidate, close the search by completing the following process:

Closing the Search Process

  1. Review the steps in the Carolina Hiring Playbook at and see the section on Extending an Offer and Receiving Acceptance
  2. Follow the action steps provided by the Student Affairs HR representative in your respective business hub
  3. Compile all of the evaluation forms, comments, and candidate summaries for archiving. Contact the Student Affairs HR representative in your respective business hub for guidance
  4. Search committee records should be maintained for three (3) years


Welcoming a new employee to UNC Student Affairs and the University is an important step for retention. The onboarding process coordinated by UNC OHR is a good introduction to the university, and is followed by an intentional process coordinated and implemented by the Student Affairs HR representative in the respective business hub followed by a more detailed introduction to the department and Student Affairs by the supervisor of the position.

Onboarding Process

  1. Review the Onboarding Checklist at HR-Rep-onboarding-checklist-for-managers-edit-6-23-KWB-edits.pdf ( or in the Forms Section of the DEI Toolkit website. This is a general checklist is for managers and HR representatives
  2. The new employee will be scheduled for New Employee Orientation conducted by UNC OHR. Employees must attend a Welcome to Carolina Blue session before beginning work
  3. In addition to the Carolina Blue orientation session, the employee should have a more comprehensive orientation to the department and Student Affairs. View examples of orientation programs from departments in Student Affairs at the Onboarding New Employees section of the DEI Toolkit website
  4. The new employee will be invited to attend the Student Affairs New Employee Orientation scheduled periodically throughout the year
  5. An important part of onboarding is sharing opportunities for engagement and participation in Student Affairs and the university. See the Retention section of the DEI Toolkit website for ideas


As part of the employee orientation process, be sure to make employees aware of the variety of ways to get involved and connected in Student Affairs and the university. This section of the website offers some options and opportunities for all employees.

Affinity Groups

View a summary of affinity groups at UNC Chapel Hill in the Retention section of the DEI Toolkit website.
Professional Development Committee. View an overview of activities and opportunities offered by the Professional Development Committee.

Awards and Recognition

View an overview of awards and recognition and previous winners.

Carolina Talent: My Learning

Find the professional development opportunities that the Office of Human Resources, the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office, and LinkedIn Learning have available for you. In this page you will find reference materials, tips for navigating My Learning, Quick Reference Cards for managers, Frequently Asked Questions, and more at Using My Learning in Carolina Talent - UNC Human Resources.

Annual Performance Reviews

The annual performance review process is another opportunity for supervisors and employees to discuss expectations, personal, and professional development opportunities for DEI.

Supervisor Training

Supervisors are required to attend a training session each year prior to conducting the annual performance review for both SHRA and EHRA employees.

Performance Plan and Annual Review Forms

The performance plan and annual review forms include the following expectation for all SHRA and EHRA employees in the Talent Development section:

Participate in an activity that will broaden knowledge and skills in the areas of equity, inclusion, and accessibility. As a developmental priority, emphasis should be given to role modeling in both word and work an understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of our student population. Services and approaches should be developed and provided in a manner which is reflective of the unique needs of our students. Employees in Student Affairs should be encouraged to participate in at least one diversity training, departmental discussion, or initiative during the review period.

DEI Dashboards

In fall 2020, the Senior Executive Team identified several DEI goals for the organization, including:

  • Increasing the overall percentage of diverse candidates in our FY21 hiring pools by 10% over FY2
  • Increasing the percentage of diverse candidates in FY22 hiring pools by 20% over FY20
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