As thousands of proud family members and friends stood and applauded the more than 6,400 Syracuse University students who had their degrees conferred inside the JMA Wireless Dome for this year’s Commencement ceremony, their thoughts were on celebrating this momentous…
Interim Leadership Team Named to Advance University’s DEIA Priorities, Strategic Plan
Chancellor Kent Syverud today announced the appointment of an interim leadership team to advance the University’s diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility priorities and strategic planning efforts. Led by Diane Lyden Murphy ’67, G’76, G’78, G’83, dean of the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, the team includes Shiu-Kai Chin G’86, professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Cerri A. Banks ’00, G’04, G’06, vice president of student success and deputy to the senior vice president of the student experience. This team is charged with advancing the inaugural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan and with implementing its initial priorities as the University searches for the next chief diversity and inclusion officer.
“This leadership team represents the breadth of the University community and has been at the heart of our work to create a campus that is welcoming to all,” says Chancellor Syverud. “I appreciate Diane, Shiu-Kai and Cerri for taking on this important work for our university. Dozens of individuals from across campus committed their time, energy and efforts to the development of the University’s first strategic plan on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. With this team in place, implementation of the goals and ideals outlined in the plan will begin and be felt throughout our community.”
The team takes over the reins of engagement and initial implementation of the DEIA Strategic Plan from former Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Keith A. Alford, who announced in May that he was leaving Syracuse University this month to become dean of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Social Work. A formal search for Alford’s successor will begin in October with the naming of a search committee and selection of a search firm.
Murphy and Chin co-chaired the DEIA strategic planning task force which was charged with creating and guiding the development of the plan. The draft strategic plan builds upon the progress that has been made on various initiatives as outlined in regular reports on Campus Commitments. Implementation of the plan will complement work currently underway by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Student Experience team, schools and colleges, and many other units and individuals.
Murphy will focus her leadership efforts on engagement with deans and senior administrative leaders; Chin will provide focus and leadership in the area of faculty engagement and development; and Banks will lead student engagement efforts. Together, the team will coordinate closely with the staff in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to align cross-campus efforts, particularly relating to academic affairs, student experience and staff programming. During this interim leadership period, William Myhill, interim director and ADA coordinator, will work closely with Associate Vice President and Chief Equal Opportunity and Title IX Officer Sheila Johnson-Willis to ensure the University continues to strengthen and advance its support of the disability community.
In addition to overseeing the implementation of the strategic plan, Murphy, Chin and Banks will work collaboratively with the Board of Trustees Advisory Committee on University Climate, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility, co-led by Trustees Richard Alexander and Jeffrey Scruggs. The Advisory Committee was formed shortly after a special Board committee submitted its own report earlier this year that included a comprehensive analysis and recommendations regarding policies, programs and other initiatives required to foster a sustainable approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility at Syracuse University.
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university that advances knowledge across disciplines to drive breakthrough discoveries and breakout leadership. Our collection of 13 schools and colleges with over 200 customizable majors close the gap between education and action, so students can take on the world. In and beyond the classroom, we connect people, perspectives, and practices to solve interconnected challenges with interdisciplinary approaches. Together, we’re a powerful community that moves ideas, individuals and impact beyond what’s possible.