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University Outlines Steps for Moving Diversity and Inclusion Conversation Forward
In a memo sent to students, faculty and staff on Friday, Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric Spina and Senior Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Rebecca Reed Kantrowitz outlined the next steps the University is taking to advance the important and continuing conversation on diversity and inclusion at Syracuse.
The memo follows the Oct. 2 “Express Yourself” forum at Hendricks Chapel where more than 250 campus community members voiced their concerns, shared their stories, and provided ideas and hopes for making Syracuse University a more diverse and inclusive place.
In the memo, Spina and Kantrowitz expressed thanks to the students and staff who dedicated their time to plan and moderate the event, before inviting the entire campus community to get more involved by volunteering to serve on a workgroup.
“At Chancellor Syverud’s direction, the University is creating a set of action-oriented workgroups—each comprised of students, faculty, and staff—to address each particular area of concern and the major themes expressed at the forum,” the memo said. “The workgroups will recommend a series of action steps, new initiatives and/or changes to address each area of concern.”
The five workgroups include:
Diversity and Inclusion Planning Workgroup
• Charge: To serve as an extended planning group to ensure the continuation of dialogue and communication between University leadership and students. This group will also assess and announce additional forums, dialogues and subsequent workgroups as needed.
• Leadership: Dean of Hendricks Chapel Tiffany Steinwert; Associate Professor in Cultural Foundations of Education Dalia Rodriguez; Senior Vice President of Human Capital Development Kal Alston; and student leaders.
Participatory Educational Experience
• Charge: To explore the options for curricular and/or participatory educational experiences, such as intergroup dialogues, and how they can be implemented more broadly.
• Leadership: Associate Provost for Academic Programs Andria Costello Staniec; Assistant Professor in Cultural Foundations of Education Gretchen Lopez; Professor of Teaching and Leadership Programs Mara Sapon-Shevin; and student leaders.
Recruitment, Support, Retention, and Success
• Charge: To work with those dedicated to these issues at the broader University level to discuss ways to advance recruitment, support, retention, and success of all student populations with a special focus on marginalized populations.
• Leadership: Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Director of Scholarships and Student Aid Ryan Williams; Director for Retention Kalpana Srinivas; a College of Arts and Sciences faculty member to be determined; and student.
Faculty Ambassador Program
• Charge: To develop objectives and a proposed implementation plan to create a faculty ambassador program that engages faculty members in the activities of a diverse and inclusive set of student organizations.
• Leadership: Associate Vice President in Student Affairs Sylvia Langford and Associate Professor in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism Harriet Brown; and student leaders.
• Charge: To explore opportunities to better connect students and the Department of Athletics for purposes of creating greater dialogue and understanding among students and student-athletes.
• Leadership: Deputy Athletics Director and Chief of Staff Herman Frazier; David Falk Distinguished Professor of Sport Management Rick Burton; Director of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion Sheila Johnson; and student leaders. The existing Student-Athlete Advisory Council, comprised of student-athlete representatives from all teams, will participate in this process.
Campus community members interested in volunteering for a workgroup should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their contact information and their preferred workgroup by Friday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m. Students interested in serving as a student lead should note that as well. Each workgroup will be fully formed by Oct. 24. Working with the Diversity and Inclusion Planning Workgroup, the University also plans to host another campus meeting in mid-November.