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College and Department Diversity Programs | Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity
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We strive for diversity and inclusion university-wide.

College Diversity Programs

The following are some college-wide diversity programs at NC State.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

CALS Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences implemented the Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellows Initiative to achieve two aims: 1) increase diversity among the postdoctoral population in the college; and 2) mentor and prepare scientists from underrepresented groups to be competitive for faculty positions in the academy. The Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship is strategic, purposeful and intentional in seeking to achieve those aims.

CALS Signature Programs, Projects and Initiatives

  • CALS Diversity Council
  • CALS Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • On-Demand Diversity Sessions
  • Food for Thought Lunch and Learn Sessions
  • Building Bridges (NCBI) Strengthening Leadership for Diverse Communities Workshop
  • Opening Doors: A Personal and Professional Journey
  • CALS Inclusive Excellence Speaker Series
  • Female Faculty Networking and Professional Development Sessions
  • CALS Diversity Champions

View the CALS diversity program descriptions.

College of Engineering and College of Sciences


The Mentor-Rings Program is a joint project of the College of Engineering, the College of Sciences, the Office of Faculty Development and the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity. While there are faculty concerns that can only be dealt with by mentors within the department or discipline, this mentoring program focuses on issues that would benefit from cross-departmental discussion. The program is intended to be complementary to, but not replace, faculty mentoring that takes place within the departments. The focus of the Mentor-Rings is on topics that transcend department or college boundaries, such as making the most of networking or mentoring relationships, administrative or logistical challenges in teaching and research and work/life issues.


  • Mentors work in “rings” consisting of two or three mentors and three to five mentees. The rings are constructed to ensure diversity across departments and colleges.
  • Members of the Mentor-Rings Program coordinating team provide training and resources for new mentors and serve as navigators and resources for the mentor-rings.


  1. Participants attend three monthly meetings to learn more about the mentor-rings program and mentoring strategies. There are opportunities to interact with other mentors in the program and with the coordinating team members between meetings.
  2. Participants attend 3 “Ring” meetings, which occur approximately once per month from February to April.
  3. Mentors must be available to mentees for individual consultations as appropriate.
  4. Share with members of the coordinating team your perspectives on the program and how to improve it.

The Mentor-Rings Program builds on the departmental- and college-level mentoring that many early-career faculty already receive and leverages the strengths of cross-departmental and cross-college perspectives in the mentoring relationship for these faculty. We believe that this program has the potential to strengthen connections throughout the two colleges.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Major Diversity Initiatives

  • The Humanities and Social Sciences Diversity Speaker Series
  • The Humanities and Social Sciences Panel Discussion Series
  • Best Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Faculty of Color website
  • Diversity Advisory Committee consisting of representatives from every department, headed by Juliana Nfah-Abbenyi, assistant dean for diversity and professor of English

See the CHASS Diversity website and recruitment and retention plans for all CHASS departments.

Department Diversity Programs

The following are brief descriptions of faculty mentoring programs in a few departments at NC State. The intent is to provide examples of different types of mentoring programs and to spark ideas for developing or refining your own department’s program for mentoring faculty.

Materials Science and Engineering – Faculty Mentoring Plan

In Materials Science and Engineering, each member of the department strives to create a supportive and collegial atmosphere that promotes both the success of the department as a whole and the success of individual faculty. This includes continuing informal interactions as well as a more formal mentoring process. The latter is especially important for new and junior faculty who may be unfamiliar with expectations, processes and opportunities both inside and outside of the university. The plan formalizes the process of mentoring for new and junior faculty as well as senior faculty for whom this plan may be useful. The plan is not intended to replace or otherwise discourage informal interactions between faculty, which are and have been critical to departmental success.

Structure of Mentoring Team

  • Upon joining the faculty, each assistant and associate professor is assigned a mentoring team composed of two or three departmental faculty. The makeup of the team may change at the request of the mentee.
  • The department head will consult with the faculty member to designate the mentoring team.
  • The mentoring team will be composed of a senior faculty member who will help to advocate for the mentee to the department, college and university, a faculty member of the same rank who has been a member of the department for at least one year and possibly an associate or full professor in the same general field of research as the mentee.

Meetings Structure, Content and Frequency

  • The mentoring team will meet with the faculty member sometime within the first three weeks of his or her first appointment and will supplement information provided to the mentee from the department staff on procedures for processing grant proposals, writing grant budgets, ordering equipment and supplies and planning travel.
  • After the initial meeting, the faculty member and the mentoring team will meet “formally” once per year in early spring when the mentee is compiling his/her Faculty Activity Report (FAR). In addition, informal discussions between members of the mentoring team and the faculty member are strongly encouraged throughout the year.
  • The mentored faculty member and the mentors are expected to schedule informal meetings in addition to informal discussions. The responsibility to ensure such interactions is equally shared between the mentors and the mentored faculty. The mentored faculty are also strongly encouraged to solicit advice from the mentors throughout the year as needed.
  • The mentored faculty member will work with the mentoring team throughout the year, including providing drafts of proposals to the mentor several weeks before submission dues dates so that mentor(s) can provide constructive comments. The mentors are expected to respond in a timely fashion so the mentored faculty can incorporate the suggestions effectively.


  • The mentoring team will work with the faculty member to develop strategies for submitting winning research proposals and award nominations, including how to approach program monitors and how to develop effective white papers. The team will also review teaching evaluations, help develop strategies to overcome any teaching deficiencies and recommend ways in which the faculty member can enhance their professional standing.
  • The mentors will also offer advice and support with respect to balancing professional and personal life as requested by the faculty member.
  • Mentors will advocate for the faculty member to the department, college, university, funding agencies and professional societies as needed. This includes recommending the mentored faculty member for external panels and reviews.
  • In coordination with the department head, the mentoring team will be responsible for working with the faculty member to resolve any deficiencies prior to his or her reappointment, tenure or promotion.
Soil Science – Faculty Mentoring Plan
Mentoring committees in Soil Science address issues important in the RPT process for assistant and associate professors and identify any weaknesses in the department’s support structure for these faculty. Mentoring teams are assigned by the department head and consist of three senior faculty members for each assistant professor. The team members have a vested interest in the programs and success of that faculty member, and the team works as their advocates for success within the department. A mentoring team meets with the faculty member at least twice per year, team members are available to the junior faculty for consultation and they help ensure that any concerns from other departmental faculty are addressed.
Forestry and Environmental Resources – Faculty Mentoring Plan
Forestry and Environmental Resources is a large department encompassing a wide variety of disciplines; therefore, it is has developed a mentoring program in which the faculty member, in consultation with the department head, chooses his or her own mentoring committee. A large part of the responsibility for establishing and meeting with the mentoring committee falls on the faculty member being mentored. At a minimum, the mentoring committee reviews and critiques the Statement of Mutual Expectations, thus making sure that the expectations of the junior faculty member, members of the departmental faculty and the department head are all in alignment. If a relationship develops between the junior faculty member and members of the mentoring committee, the benefits may be much larger.
History – Faculty Mentoring Plan
The History Department has a policy of voluntary group mentoring. Under this system, assistant professors meet for coffee or lunch twice a semester to discuss a predetermined topic, i.e., grant writing, graduate advising, publishing, balancing work and family, the tenure process, etc. The assistant professors invite two or three senior faculty to join them for a conversation on a given topic based on their sense of who can offer the best advice.  This system allows junior faculty to meet and learn from an assortment of senior faculty, contributes to the overall intellectual life of the department and encourages individual relationships to develop.