Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs

Diversity at Western Carolina University is all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued.  It includes race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, geography, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language and linguistic differences, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values. At WCU, we believe that embracing and encouraging diversity in this all-inclusive form enriches our academic community and provides our students with the kind of culturally responsive education that will make them better people, better citizens and better leaders.

EODP Vision

Ricardo Nazario-ColonWCU Chief Diversity Officer Ricardo Nazario-Colon


WCU's Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity aspires to strengthen diversity as an integral component of academic excellence within WCU and, in the process, to establish the university as a leader within North Carolina in preparing its students for success in a culturally and racially diverse society.

The office is led by Chief Diversity Officer Ricardo Nazario-Colon, who serves as the campus's primary facilitator for cross-divisional diversity initiatives. 

EODP Mission

The office is responsible for devising and implementing a range of programs and policies to promote diversity of WCU.

It sets out to accomplish this by:

  • Strengthening WCU's ability to create a learning environment needed to develop the extraordinary leaders who will succeed in an increasingly culturally diverse and globalized society.
  • Focusing on WCU's goal of providing the highest quality educational experience that is fully representative of the diversity of human difference in our state.
  • Serving as a resource to our campus community by providing policy information and development, referrals, advocacy, coordination and support for diversity-related events, initiatives and discussions.

Diversity Dialogues

The Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity also strives to promote and facilitate constructive, respectful conversations about diversity on campus. In February 2017, in honor of Black History Month, the office focused on collecting and sharing the unique collection of experiences of students of color. Recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15, 2017, WCU's Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs captured the unique experiences of some of WCU's Latinx students as part of our Diversity Dialogues series.

Watch the Video Conversation

See Student Stories

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