Carter named associate dean for equity  and inclusion in ETSU College of Arts and Sciences

Published 12:23 pm Wednesday, June 2, 2021

 JOHNSON CITY – Dr. Daryl A. Carter has been named associate dean of equity and inclusion in East Tennessee State University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

 This is the first equity and inclusion officer position at the college level at ETSU. The seed for this new position was planted during a strategic planning process for the college under the leadership of former Dean Dr. Gordon Anderson. An ad hoc committee appointed to address needs pertaining to diversity determined the need for an associate dean position, and the idea was embraced not only by Anderson, but also by now-Interim Dean Dr. Joe Bidwell and university administration.

 Following an internal search process, Carter was chosen to fill this new role in addition to his ongoing responsibilities as a professor in the Department of History and director of Black American Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences.

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 “The College of Arts and Sciences recognizes the importance of equity and inclusion as it relates to our academic life and to our students, to our faculty, to our staff, how we deal with curricular matters, how we deal with discipline, how we deal with recruitment and retention,” Carter said. “We want to take the broadest possible view of equity and inclusion. We want to make sure that everyone in the College of Arts and Sciences has a place at the table, has a voice, is heard, is respected, is treated as a human being, and has a deep sense of belonging to the college.”

 Carter says the college’s approach to equity and inclusion will be more formal and proactive than in the past, and its efforts will focus on many different people and addressing their needs.

 “We’re talking not just about one group or another – we’re talking about all groups,” he said. “We’re talking about Whites, we’re talking about Blacks, we’re talking about Latinos. We’re talking about LGBTQ, native-born, immigrants. We’re talking about middle class and upper class. The disabled. Those with mental health issues. We’re talking about those who may be, at times, food-insecure, those who may be housing-insecure.

 “We’re taking this broad approach, because we believe that we do better when everybody has that proverbial seat at the table. We do better when our students get a quality education, which is focused not just on the particulars of whatever discipline they’re in, but that also gives them a firm grounding in the importance of equity and inclusion. And then finally, we want to be a part of the solution to these types of issues as opposed to a challenge to them.”

 Among Carter’s goals are the establishment of a council with members from throughout the college that will assist him in examining issues and setting direction; building partnerships between his office and such areas of the college as Black American Studies, Women’s Studies, the Language and Culture Resource Center, various academic minor programs, and more; and focusing on recruitment and retention of students at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as faculty and staff.

 “We’re very excited about Daryl being in this position,” Bidwell said. “He brings significant experience in the areas of diversity and inclusion with his work with the Black American Studies Program and with his past involvement in broader issues related to diversity and inclusion with Dr. Keith Johnson (ETSU vice president for equity and inclusion). He’s really the right person to help the college realize that strategic initiative of ensuring the diversity and inclusion of people and ideas.

 “We had a number of very strong applicants, and in the end, Daryl had the suite of qualities that we wanted to see in this position. I think we are headed in a great direction. He’s got excellent ideas about where the program will go, and I think the overall impact on the college is going to be very positive. It’s going to extend into a number of key areas – teaching, research and service – and we want to make it really a part of our culture. We want equity and inclusion to just be something that is part of what happens in Arts and Sciences.”

 Carter joined the university faculty in 2008. He received a B.S. in political science in 2004 and an M.A. in history in 2006 from ETSU, and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Memphis in 2011.

 His area of expertise is 20th and 21st century American political history, including the intersections of race, class and gender and how they impact American political history. His scholarship is diverse and wide-ranging. He is the author of “Brother Bill: President Clinton and the Politics of Race and Class,” which was published by the University of Arkansas Press in 2016.

 Carter was recently selected to a three-year term on the Tennessee Historical Society board of directors, and he is currently chair of the board of Humanities Tennessee, of which he has been a member since 2014.