Published August 8, 2022
Despina Stratigakos, vice provost for inclusive excellence since 2018, is stepping down from that position on Sept. 12 to return to her faculty role as professor of architecture.
The announcement was made jointly today by President Satish K. Tripathi and Provost A. Scott Weber.
Stratigakos, a UB faculty member since 2007, will serve as a visiting professor at the University of Copenhagen during the coming fall semester. An architectural historian, she has produced award-winning scholarship related to Germany, modernism and 20th-century architecture.
As vice provost for inclusive excellence, she has been responsible for leading UB’s efforts to create a culture of inclusive excellence across the university.
In a memo to the UB community commending Stratigakos “for her outstanding contributions to the university community,” Tripathi and Weber said Stratigakos “has reimagined the Office of Inclusive Excellence as a hub for inclusive excellence-related activities across campus, partnering with other units and contributing programming to further the university’s mission.”
Her leadership of faculty diversification initiatives — particularly the innovative Visiting Future Faculty (VITAL) program, the SUNY PRODiG program and search committee recruitment training — “have advanced the university’s goal of diversifying our faculty,” they noted, adding that she also launched the “Let’s Talk about Race” series of university-wide lectures “to foster critical conversations around racism and overcoming institutional barriers.”
During her tenure, the Office of Inclusive Excellence also hosted Inclusive Excellence Summits, which bring together members of the campus community “to promote understanding and showcase the innovative work being accomplished at UB to foster multiculturalism and diversity,” the memo said.
And “to ensure that UB is equitable in its policies, programs, activities and traditions,” Stratigakos co-led the President’s Advisory Council on Race and provided strategic facilitation for its implementation committee. Tripathi and Weber noted that the advisory council’s recommendations “are key to enabling UB to achieve our goals of enhancing our social impact and addressing issues related to structural racism and inequity through our curriculum, research, recruitment, retention, and engagement practices.”
Moreover, Stratigakos created a network of Unit Diversity Officers in 2019 that has fundamentally transformed inclusive excellence work at UB and “has proven critical to responding to national and local issues and implementing programs and change at UB.”
Tripathi and Weber said in the coming weeks they will announce interim leadership for the Office of Inclusive Excellence; a national search for a new vice provost is expected to begin later this year.