Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
As shared in our June 14 update, there is intensive ongoing work being done this summer related to diversity and inclusion by so many in our community. In this message, I call your attention to two ongoing developments.
First, I am pleased that Falk College Professor Keith Alford, director of the School of Social Work, has agreed to become the University’s interim chief diversity officer and to assist in the search this coming year for a long-term professional to fill this position. The announcement can be found here. Dr. Alford is a distinguished scholar and teacher who knows this community and University, and our faculty, staff and students, well. He has been justly celebrated across our community for work combating racism, promoting dialogue and helping students and the community. I am also pleased that Barry Wells has agreed to assist me and Keith in the coming year as we make these transitions, continuing in his role as special assistant to me and as co-chair of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion.
Second, there has been remarkable ongoing work on the First-Year Experience Initiative for students new to Syracuse this fall. We are preparing more than 400 faculty, staff and student leaders to help engage all new students in a carefully designed and assessed program to build shared community, improve the cultural skills and awareness of all participants, and increase health and wellness. I thank Amanda Nicholson and Kira Kristal Reed, First-Year Experience Initiative co-chairs; the First-Year Experience Steering Committee; and all other community members for stepping up in leadership of this work, and I ask that we all support this effort.
We will update you again later in July about summer progress. In the meantime, I wish you success in all your efforts and look forward to welcoming and including all here, including our newcomers, when we start the fall semester.
Chancellor Kent Syverud