By JAY REY
Published November 22, 2022
UB has been “making strides on all fronts” since the President’s Advisory Council on Race was initiated two years ago.
Those were just a few examples that President Satish K. Tripathi used during an online town hall meeting on Nov. 15 to demonstrate how UB is converting its “principles into actions.”
“As I said when I convened the President’s Advisory Council on Race two years ago, ensuring that UB is equitable in our programs, policies, activities and traditions is not a one-time effort,” Tripathi said.
“It will be hard to create general systemic change,” he said. “We can anticipate there will always be more ways for us to elevate for the greater good.”
The hour-long town hall meeting was the first of what’s anticipated to be an annual report on the progress being made since 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 the fall of 2021, Provost A. Scott Weber charged an Implementation Committee with operationalizing recommendations from the President’s Advisory Council on Race.
And in June, that committee issued its final report, with seven subcommittees proposing more than 100 recommendations for achieving equity across UB. Each set of recommendations has been assigned to senior leaders responsible for implementing and tracking progress, Weber said.
“So, starting with today’s town hall, each fall — as promised — we will share our collective progress and appropriate data points with the campus community,” Weber said.
While the president and provost talked more broadly about the efforts, senior leaders offered some specifics, such as expanding and improving on current signature initiatives focused on underrepresented scholars and increasing funding and resources for Student Life’s Intercultural and Diversity Center.
A complete report for each of the strategic areas can be found on the website. They include:
When asked during the Q&A portion of the meeting how long it will take to implement the recommendations, Weber echoed the president’s sentiments.
“I think the president said it pretty well in his opening remarks,” Weber said. “Yes, there are clearly some things that we’ve already been able to do, we’re excited that we are making some progress on this, but we look at this as a continuing effort through the future of the institution.
“I don’t know if the work ever stops,” Weber added. “I don’t think there’s a timeline that we pick that says we claim victory because I don’t think that’s a good strategy. I think we have to think about this constantly and be reflective at all times and yet hold ourselves accountable as we go toward making progress.”