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Carolina alumna Taffye Benson Clayton will become UNC’s vice provost for diversity and multicultural affairs beginning Feb. 1. Since 2009, Clayton has been East Carolina University’s associate provost for equity, diversity and community relations and chief diversity officer.

Clayton, who has 20 years of experience developing and administering programs that enhance diversity and inclusion in a university setting, will advise senior leadership in the Provost’s Office and work with administrators, faculty, staff and students across campus to strengthen Carolina’s long-standing commitment to a diverse, inclusive campus community.

“With her impressive background in higher education, she has a clear comprehensive vision for what our Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs can accomplish,” said Bruce W. Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost. “With her guidance, I am confident that we can further our diversity objectives, which play such a significant role in the work we do at Carolina.”

For the last 16 years, Clayton has advised East Carolina’s senior leadership about best practices in effecting a more inclusive and collaborative learning environment. Before heading to East Carolina in 1995, she worked extensively with undergraduates at American University, particularly students from intercultural backgrounds and underrepresented minorities.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Carolina, a master’s degree in arts administration from American University and a doctorate of education in educational leadership from East Carolina.

The search committee, led by Paul Godley, professor and executive associate dean for faculty affairs in the School of Medicine, was impressed with Clayton’s record of accomplishments at East Carolina as well as her passion for enriching diversity in higher education and her understanding of the UNC system and North Carolina.

In his message to campus, Carney thanked both the search committee and Terri Houston, director of recruitment and multicultural programs within the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, who served as interim chief diversity officer since the beginning of this year.