Skip to main content

Council on Inclusive Excellence


Community Vision for Inclusive Excellence

The diverse perspectives encountered at WCU are an important part of the preparation of students for roles as regional, national, and global leaders who contribute to the improvement of society. It is expected that members of the WCU community will not only coexist with those who are different from themselves, but also nurture respect and appreciation of those differences. We encourage civil discourse as a part of the learning enterprise, and as a campus, we do not tolerate harassing or discriminating behavior that seeks to marginalize or demean members of our community.

For more information:
Policy 53
Diversity Resources
Report Harassment or Discrimination

Inclusive Excellence Awards

The Council on Inclusive Excellence (CIE) established the Inclusive Excellence Awards in honor and appreciation of the faculty, staff, and student who has demonstrated outstanding efforts toward advancing the University in its mission of embracing diversity while maintaining academic excellence. Each year, one award will be allocated for a WCU faculty, staff, and student, and the recipients of the Inclusive Excellence Award will each receive a plaque and a monetary award of $500 toward their diversity efforts. Nominations will be accepted through the online nomination form.
The Call for Nominations for the 2020 IE Awards will open in Fall 2019. Please, direct questions to

2019 Inclusive Excellence Award Recipients



The Council shall:

Advise the Provost on issues, policies, and practices that affect Western Carolina University's commitment as a champion of Inclusive Excellence. *

Report regularly to the Provost and the University community on the status of issues of Inclusive Excellence at WCU, such as matters of racial and ethnic diversity in employment, working environments, compensation, and campus leadership.

Manage and Implement campus climate surveys and assessments as needed, involving:

  • Campus climate surveys through the collaboration of campus partners and the Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness.
  • Employee Resource Groups to assess the needs of underrepresented groups.

Offer Recommendations to redress all forms of racial and ethnicity-related inequities, including:

  • Recommendations for enhancing the University's recruitment, retention, and graduation of diverse students in all programs.
  • Recommendations for enhancing the University's recruitment and retention of minority** faculty and staff.

Monitor Inclusive Excellence Progress to ensure Inclusive Excellence at Western Carolina University, which fully engages faculty, staff, and students in the creation of an inclusive campus, including:

  • The Inclusion of cultural affairs, communications, curriculum, and extracurricular opportunities.
  • Monitoring and implementing feasible recommendations from all task force work, past and future, pertaining to Inclusive Excellence.

*Inclusive Excellence as defined by AACU
**Minority as defined by WCU/the state of North Carolina and the Federal Office of Civil Rights.



Name Title Department/Unit/Organization
  Chief Diversity Officer Provost; Office of Equal Opportunities and Diversity Programs
Dr. Rebecca Lasher
Assistant Professor Social Work
Dr. Ellie Blair Associate Professor School of Teaching & Learning
Chris Dahlquist Human Resource Consultant Human Resources
  Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success Office of the Provost
  Director of Compliance Office of Athletic Programs
Dr. Nelson Granda-Marulanda Assistant Professor School of Engineering & Technology
Dr. Brandi Hinnant-Crawford Assistant Professor Human Services
Suzanne Melton Administrative Support Specialist Office of the Provost
Dr. Dana Murray Patterson Director Intercultural Affairs
Dr. Eleanor Petrone Associate Professor English
Dr. JoBeth Shafran Assistant Professor Political Science & Public Affairs
Shamella Cromartie Associate Dean Hunter Library
Paul Perrotta Director of Accessibility Resources Disability Services
Amy McKenzie Administrative Support Specialist Philosophy & Religion
Office of Web Services