Associate Dean for DEI

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Karla Slocum

photo of Karla SlocumDr. Karla Slocum was named the inaugural associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, effective July 1, 2021. Karla has distinguished herself as a leader in her 25 years at Carolina. She is currently the Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy in the department of anthropology and has served as director of the Institute of African American Research from 2013 to 2021. She was also co-director of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (MURAP), a program designed to prepare undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds for future careers in the academy.

At IAAR, she has led a number of programs that facilitate and raise the visibility of diverse approaches to scholarship on race. This past year, she has overseen the IAAR’s SLATE initiative — Student Learning to Advance Truth and Equity, an initiative to engage undergraduates in a critical understanding of race, racism and racial equity, especially as they concern African Americans.

She has spearheaded and co-chaired the anthropology department’s concentration on Race, Difference and Power; was the senior faculty mentor for the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity; and served as a board member for the Latina/o studies minor, the Duke-UNC Consortium for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Center for the Study of the American South and the Stone Center for Black Culture and History. She has taught courses on gender and culture; race, ethnography and Black Communities; and Caribbean societies. Her research interests focus on the social dynamics of race and community, especially historic rural Black communities in the African diaspora. Most recently, she is the author of Black Towns, Black Futures: The Enduring Allure of a Black Place in the American West.




In 2012, then dean Karen Gil introduced the roles of director of faculty diversity initiatives and departmental diversity liaisons to address such issues as departmental and unit climate, faculty hiring and recruiting, and implementation of curricular changes and innovations that promote diversity and inclusion. Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, who was dean of the College at the time, created the Dean’s Faculty Diversity Advisory Committee in 2016 to supplement these efforts and to provide additional strategic guidance to College leadership on DEI matters. In 2021, Dean Terry Rhodes announced her plan to elevate the director of faculty diversity initiatives position to the rank of associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion with an expanded role and responsibilities and with greater resources to enhance and augment this essential work.


The Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion reports to the Dean of the College and will lead the College in implementing strategic initiatives, including the creation of a College diversity plan. As a member of the Dean’s senior leadership team, the Associate Dean will guide and advise the dean, senior associate deans, and chairs and directors in the College on diversity, equity and inclusion matters. The Associate Dean will interface regularly with the dean’s senior leadership team, dean’s advisory committee, dean’s faculty diversity advisory committee, College diversity liaisons, administrative managers’ advisory committee and the campus Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council to assess community needs and work collaboratively across the College to enhance the experience for students, faculty and staff in the College. The Associate Dean will provide strategic direction for training initiatives designed to increase awareness and support of equity and inclusion values. This individual will provide innovative, progressive leadership and lead the College’s efforts to build an environment of inclusive excellence by:

  • Building resources to support research related to diversity, race, politics, health, science and culture.
  • Cultivating leadership potential of College faculty to sustain progress and open new directions in diversity, equity and inclusion work.
  • Assisting in identifying candidates and broadening recruitment pools for positions.
  • Advocating on behalf of underrepresented and minority faculty in relation to equity in mentoring and service loads, and related activities.
  • Identifying curricular programs and course enhancement initiatives that expand support for diverse learning abilities, and create inclusive classrooms.