Dear Campus Community:
I have heard your concerns about the climate at The College at Brockport. I recognize that several past attempts to bring about a more inclusive and diverse environment at the college have resulted in missteps by me. I am committing to our entire campus community that structural changes in campus policies and practices will begin as of today and include, but are not limited to, the following:
Bringing an experienced SUNY CDO to campus on special assignment from Chancellor Johnson, effective immediately. Dr. Rodmon King is the CDO for SUNY Oswego, and he will advise me and work with my leadership team to assess and address the serious challenges and longstanding concerns about the climate on campus. Dr. King will join Dr. Acker and will have full decision-making authority to implement needed changes in increasing diversity and inclusion on campus.
Revamping the current and failed bias reporting mechanism and replace it with an accessible and efficient reporting structure that will hold accountable the leadership in charge of that operation. This action is needed to rebuild confidence among students, faculty, and staff.
Requiring Brockport’s leadership team, key faculty and staff leaders (e.g., deans and department chairs, AVPs, and directors) to undergo immediate training on implicit bias, institutional racism, and structural inequality from skilled diversity trainers.
Undertaking an immediate and thorough review of the demographics and diversity representation of every department, particularly those departments that directly serve students, to identify which units have little or no racial/ethnic diversity, and devise a plan to eliminate these “diversity deserts.”
Committing to hold additional community conversations at designated areas around campus with students, faculty, and staff of color to hear issues and concerns that need to be resolved. I will go to them to engage in conversation necessary to change the campus culture.
Dr. King has been designated with the authority to implemented these actions and report on the progress to the SUNY Chancellor by April 30.
These actions are the direct result of feedback and needs I have heard from students, faculty, and staff on campus. These actions are just the beginning, and I will continue to do everything in my power to help rebuild what has been broken on campus. I have repeatedly heard from our community that they expect our leadership to be courageous, and I humbly report to you that courage begins with me today.