Julian Williams, the university's vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, spoke on how to make campus more inclusive and diversify faculty recruitment at the virtual Diversity Matters professional development series Tuesday.
At the event, Williams discussed how to support diversity as an educator and an administrator. This included talking about how the university can be proactive and intentional.
Williams said he wants to examine and promote inclusion and diversity to everyone on campus, particularly within university leadership.
"I think that we've gotta think about what our faculty and staffs' diversity looks like," Williams said. "Our executive leadership team is talented as they are and great folks, but the fact that there is very few women on that team is astounding."
The group discussed what a diversity recruitment plan looks like, which ultimately ensures diversity in the workforce.
"What I don't believe is that persons of color don't want to work here," Williams said. "What I don't believe is that they are not out there and they are not applying for our jobs."
Williams said the university needs to think more about the hiring process and how to be more inclusive.
"We've got to think about these notions of fit and culture, and what that looks like and how that could implicate some of the things that we already see," Williams said.
Williams said there is still a lot that needs to be done, which has been shown in the past few weeks by an outbreak of protests.
"It is not going to come easy," Williams said. "I think we have been on campus for three weeks now, we have had two protests and folks that are coming onto campus and pushing their message, which I think is against our values and the vision that I have outlined, but that's what life looks like."
However, Williams said there is something everyone can do to encourage more diversity on our campus.
"Elevate diversity and inclusion as a core value," Williams said. "We've got to talk about this. We can't be afraid to talk about it."
According to Williams, the goal of these professional development programs is to strive towards a "more inclusive University of South Carolina" and provide opportunities and pathways for students within the state.
The series continues with another event on Sept. 22. Find the other events here.