Hank Mullins, a faculty member for nearly 30 years in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), passed away in July at age 69. Mullins grew up in the Hudson Valley village…
Message From Chancellor Kent Syverud
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
A short time ago, you received a message from former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Ms. Lynch and her colleagues from the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison law firm have completed their independent review [PDF] of our Department of Public Safety (DPS) and framework for a DPS Community Review Board.
I received the report on Saturday morning and spent the weekend reviewing the findings and recommendations. Yesterday, I spoke with Ms. Lynch and thanked her for her team’s diligence and effort. I am also grateful to our students, faculty and staff who offered thoughtful and candid insights.
It is clear where we fell short. It is also clear that many of our students, particularly students of color, experienced the hate incidents on our campus in deeply personal and distressing ways. At times, actions taken by the University, including by DPS, exacerbated that fear. We let you down. I am committed to ensuring we do better to rebuild and strengthen trust and mutual respect among our campus community.
I accept the conclusions outlined in the report and have directed the appropriate leaders to implement the recommendations. In the coming days, I will share more specific information on how the University will fulfill these recommendations.
This independent review of DPS is just one step in building a community that is welcoming to everyone. It also includes forthcoming recommendations from the Board of Trustees Special Committee on University Climate, Diversity and Inclusion. It includes the results of a campus climate survey conducted by Dr. Damon Williams that will be shared with our community by mid-March. It includes the creation of a Universitywide strategic plan for diversity, inclusion, equity and access.
There is no endpoint to this work. It will evolve to meet the changing needs of our community. It requires open hearts and minds. It requires the humility to acknowledge when you haven’t gotten things right, and the resolve to get them right. And together, with grace, I know we will get there.
Chancellor Kent Syverud