Dear Adelphi Community,
We are still reckoning with the impact of a global pandemic, one that has demonstrated the way we come together as a university community.
And it is time, again, for us to rally together.
Since June, we have had many conversations, open and individual, to hear the concerns and pain of our community members. In listening to you, it is clear that our University is not where it should be when it comes to eliminating racism. Over the summer months, you bravely shared your experiences of discrimination, racism, intolerance, bigotry and discomfort at Adelphi. I attended every forum and am grateful you shared your stories and your concrete suggestions for improvement.
We also understand that your experiences are not limited to racial issues. We heard concerns related to gender and gender identity, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socioeconomic status, beliefs, and age. We heard that there is favoritism for specific groups on campus.
I want you to know that I am committed to changing the systems that perpetuate racism, sexism, discrimination, bias and inequity in our culture as well as in our policies and procedures. With your support, we can make this happen and hopefully become a model for others to do the same.
Many have already begun the process to help make our Panther community more equitable and inclusive. And I want to say, THANK YOU! Your work is paving the way for us to make Adelphi a university that we are all proud of—in every aspect.
But as I write to you today, I know that we need to do more. We must come together again and take concrete steps toward making real transformation within our University.
We are committed to change.
With your help, we have created an intentional anti-racism agenda for this coming year. This website provides in-depth details of our actions, along with timelines and updates. I hope you will take the time to review this critical agenda.
I hope that you will consider reaching out to any of our diversity, equity and inclusion-focused task forces, councils or committees—to learn about what they do and to be part of their work to drive change at Adelphi.
Our anti-racism agenda and broader diversity, equity and inclusion goals will not be achieved overnight. This work will require the intentional participation of every one of us, and it starts with me. Our board of trustees and institutional leadership all have roles in this plan and are deeply committed to its success.
Here are a few things you can expect and how you can join us:
We will improve our complaint and issue reporting process. I have asked for an independent audit of how all complaints and issues are reported and addressed across the various units on campus, including Title IX, student conduct, human resources, public safety and other areas. We will have recommendations by the end of October and will make changes immediately, where needed.
We will improve our feedback loop as well, following up with those who bring issues to our attention or report instances of discrimination or harm on campus. While federal privacy laws protect education and conduct records, we will make sure that individuals know that concerns are being addressed.
We will ensure that all members of our community take diversity training. Each unit will develop diversity action plans, and their leaders will be accountable for implementing them and for reporting results.
We will continue to report our progress toward these priorities. We will be transparent with our successes and shortfalls. We will publish information on our website and communicate via email and social media. We have already begun reporting on actions taken and results.
We will continue to meet with our community members to learn about your experiences and how we should do better. Please bring your ideas and suggestions to our attention.
Please join me in building a better Adelphi.
We want to be a university community that reflects the excellence in us all, one that is diverse, equitable, inclusive, anti-racist and welcoming. Let’s make history together.
All the best,