Board of Trustees appoints new advisory committee on university climate, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility



The Syracuse University Board of Trustees today announced the formation of the University Climate, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will be co-chaired by Trustees Richard M. Alexander L’82 and Jeffrey M. Scruggs, both of whom served as co-chairs of the Board’s Special Committee on University Climate, Diversity and Inclusion, which concluded its work in March 2021 with the publication of a final report.

The special committee’s recommendations include investing $ 50 million to identify, hire and retain a more diverse full-time faculty; enrich and modernize the curriculum; improve the experience of students in residence; strengthen and prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in all training, programs and facility planning; and rethinking the role of the Department of Public Security.

“The formation of the Advisory Board reflects the Council’s continued commitment to this transformative work that is essential in shaping the future of Syracuse University,” says Alexander. “We look forward to the opportunity to provide strategic oversight with respect to initiatives that will enable the University to become a leader in higher education. Our work will support the modeling of the values ​​of a diverse and inclusive society on our campus, while fostering a culture that supports and welcomes all people and prepares our students to be leaders.

The new advisory committee will be responsible, among other things, for reviewing the measures taken under the University campus commitments. The Advisory Committee will also receive regular reports from the Head of Diversity and Inclusion on the progress of the implementation of the University’s five-year strategic plan and oversee the University’s efforts to foster a more diverse and inclusive culture. and a welcoming and fair campus environment.

“The University and the Board of Trustees are committed to taking action to build a welcoming community for all,” says Scruggs. “Several fundamental elements are completed or nearing completion, including the work of former United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the recommendations of the Special Committee, the results of the survey of climatic impulses by Dr. Damon Williams, and the strategic plan being developed by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Most importantly, our students told us how they lived at Syracuse University and where we need to do better. The Advisory Board is ready to support long-term work that will bring lasting and meaningful change to our community.

Other members of the new advisory committee include:

  • Joanne F. Alper, Life Trustee
  • David G. Edelstein, Voting Director
  • Sharon Haines Jacquet, Life Trustee
  • Christine E. Larsen, Voting Trustee
  • Douglas A. Present, Voting Director
  • Kent Syverud, Chancellor (ex officio)
  • Michael G. Thonis, Voting Director
  • Kathleen A. Walters, Board Chair (ex officio)
  • Howard E. Woolley, Voting Director

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private research university that advances knowledge in all disciplines to foster breakthrough discoveries and disruptive leadership. Our collection of 13 schools and colleges with over 200 customizable majors bridges 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 are a powerful community that moves ideas, people and makes an impact beyond what is possible.


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