Chancellor Kent Syverud today announced the appointment of an interim leadership team to advance the university’s priorities on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility 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 at the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Cerri A. Banks ’00, G’04, G’06, Vice President, Student Success and Assistant Senior Vice President, Student Experience. This team is tasked with driving the first Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equal Opportunities, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) and implementing its first priorities as the university searches for the next Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

“This management team represents the breadth of the university community and was at the heart of our work to create a campus that welcomes everyone,” says Chancellor Syverud. “I appreciate Diane, Shiu-Kai and Cerri for doing this important work for our university. Dozens of individuals from across campus have invested their time, energy and effort in developing the university’s first strategic plan on diversity, equality, inclusion and accessibility. With this team, the implementation of the goals and ideals outlined in the plan will begin and be felt in our entire community. “

The team is taking responsibility for the 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 is leaving Syracuse University this month to become Dean of the State University of New York to become at the Buffalo School of Social Work. A formal search for Alford’s successor will begin in October with the appointment of a search committee and the selection of a search company.

Murphy and Chin jointly led the DEIA Strategic Planning Task Force, which was charged with creating and directing the development of the plan. The draft strategic plan builds on the progress made on various initiatives that are presented in regular campus commitment reports. Implementation of the plan will complement the work currently under way by the Diversity and Inclusion Bureau, the Academic Affairs Office, the Student Experience Team, schools and colleges, and many other entities and individuals.

Murphy will focus her leadership efforts on working with deans and senior administrators; Chin will provide focus and leadership in faculty engagement and development; and banks will guide student engagement efforts. Together, the team will work closely with the Bureau of Diversity and Inclusion staff to align cross-campus efforts, particularly on academic matters, student experience, and staff programming. During this interim leadership period, William Myhill, interim director and ADA coordinator, will work closely with Assistant Vice President and Chief Equal Opportunity and Title IX Officer Sheila Johnson-Willis to ensure that the university continues to strengthen and advance its support for the disability community.

In addition to overseeing the implementation of the strategic plan, Murphy, Chin and Banks will work with the Advisory Committee of the Board of Trustees on Higher Education Climate, Diversity, Justice, Inclusion and Accessibility, jointly chaired by curators Richard Alexander and Jeffrey Scruggs. The advisory board was formed shortly after a special board committee submitted its own report earlier this year, which included extensive analysis and recommendations on policies, programs and other initiatives needed to take a sustainable approach to diversity, equality, inclusion and accessibility at Syracuse University.

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private research university that promotes knowledge in a variety of disciplines to advance breakthrough discovery and 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 outside of the classroom, we connect people, perspectives and practices in order to solve networked challenges with interdisciplinary approaches. Together we are a strong community that moves ideas, individuals and impacts beyond measure.