By JAY REY
Published November 22, 2023
UB continues to show progress in dismantling barriers to equality and making the campus a more inclusive place to live, learn and work.
That’s the message from senior leadership who provided a progress report on implementing recommendations that ensure the university is becoming more equitable in its policies, programs, activities and practices — from faculty recruitment to staff recognition to the student experience.
“I can assure you that there is plenty of good news to go around,” said President Satish K. Tripathi.
The full progress reports are posted online, but senior leaders provided some highlights to the UB community during an hour-long virtual town hall on Nov. 16.
Jaqueline Hollins, the outgoing interim vice provost for inclusive excellence, moderated the event, while the panel of presenters included Robert Granfield, vice provost for faculty affairs; Christopher Delello, associate vice president for human resources; Graham Hammill, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School; Ann Bisantz, dean of undergraduate education; Brian Hamluk, vice president for student life; Lee Melvin, the outgoing vice provost for enrollment management; Tonga Pham, associate vice president for university facilities; and Beth Del Genio, chief of staff to the president and vice president for government and community relations.
Here’s a complete list of the committees with a link to a summary of their progress:
It was the second year for the town hall meeting, which is anticipated to be an update to the campus community each fall. Its intent is to report on the progress being made after Tripathi first created the President’s Advisory Council on Race in June 2020 to help the university “dismantle structural barriers to equality” and guide UB toward becoming more equitable in its polices, programs, activities and traditions.
In fall 2021, Provost A. Scott Weber charged an Implementation Committee with implementing recommendations from the President’s Advisory Council on Race. That committee issued its final report in June of 2022, with several subcommittees proposing more than 100 recommendations for achieving equity across UB.
When asked during the Q&A portion of the meeting if the committees have encountered any challenges in implementing recommendations, Delello said he has seen nothing but support. Bisantz said she was very pleased with the engagement of the faculty.
The president said from the beginning that systemic change will take time, and Weber once again emphasized that this campus-wide effort is a top priority for the administration. While they are not claiming victory, they are encouraged by the progress.
“There’s a balancing between speed and consultation, and I think we have tried to be very engaging of the university at large,” Weber said.