August 2021: Progress on Campus Commitments

Campus & Community

Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:

Our university community has come together in profound ways to advance our Diversity, Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) goals. Leaders from across our campus lead critical initiatives; Students have pointed out areas where we should develop; the Office for Diversity and Inclusion has expanded its program, training and dialogue options; and the DEIA Strategic Planning Task Force has made tremendous progress with the university’s first DEIA strategic plan. Countless others are involved, building on the work of so many over the years.

As I conclude my time in Syracuse this month, I would like to thank everyone who has been and continues to be involved in our joint efforts. It has been an honor to work with you. This work is a powerful example of what we can achieve together. I was inspired by the insights of the students, the collegiality and wisdom of our faculty and staff, and the care, passion and drive that so many show in matters of social justice.

The work continues, also on our campus commitments. Here are some recent examples:

  • The university administration received the welcome translation into Onondaga Haudenosaunee for the signage of the Huntington Beard Crouse Hall. The translation is “Wa’tgwanoñheñ: nyoñ ‘hwa’dyoñgwe’dageh”. The signage for the fall semester is under way.
  • A new elevator is being installed at 119 Euclid Avenue and an ADA barrier-free toilet is being renovated. The work is expected to be completed in autumn.
  • On Euclid Ave. 113, which will host the Native Student Program, is currently working on the installation of a new elevator and ADA accessible entrance and ramp. The work should be completed in autumn.
  • The Haudenosaunee flag is hoisted at the National Veterans Resource Center. In accordance with the university’s practice of flying the US flag higher than other flags when flown at Syracuse University, the Haudenosaunee flag will fly at the same height as the seven other flags in the center.
  • As communicated in a message from Chief Bobby Maldanado to the campus community in June, implementation of Loretta Lynch’s recommendations will continue, including the publication of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Standard Operating Procedures on the DPS website.

In addition to campus commitments, other current programs and initiatives developed by diversity and inclusion peers across campus include the following:

  • SI Newhouse School of Public Communications produced a bias reporting survey for the school. About 450 students had completed the survey by the end of May, and the majority of the staff had completed the survey by the end of June.
  • Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, a collaboration between the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach (OIPO) of the Burton Blatt Institute and the libraries of Syracuse University, hosted a zoom reading on June 25 with celebrated author Ona Gritz, to celebrate her work in the field of disability literature (#CripLit) and to help with the publication of her new book “Present Imperfect: Essays (Poets Wear Prada)”.
  • The Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s DiversityEdu online course was completed in May by 100% of permanent and full-time faculty, and 95% of non-scheduled faculty completed the course.

All of these efforts are the result of the commitment of many individuals to the ideals of diversity, equality, inclusion and accessibility. This important work and the Syracuse University community – our pursuit of academic excellence, our achievements in diversity and inclusion, and our indomitable spirit – will be with me at all times. Thank you all.

Comprehensive our connectivity,

Keith A. Alford
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Comments are closed.