Statement from Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Chair of the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force on the selection of Kristina Johnson to be the next Chancellor of the State University of New York
“On behalf of the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, I welcome Dr. Kristina M. Johnson to New York and wish her tremendous success in her new capacity as Chancellor of the State University of New York. For over a decade, the Task Force has worked directly with SUNY chancellors, its Board of Directors and top staff to correct decades of neglect and disinterest in issues of diversity, minority student success, and inclusion. There are now over 123,000 minority students in SUNY and its 64 campuses are experiencing increased growth in minority student enrollment that will become the norm.
This collaboration has yielded considerable results which include:
· the creation of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion;
· the creation and adoption of the most ambitious and comprehensive diversity policy of any public college system;
· the creation of the Hispanic Leadership Institute to address the absolute absence of Latinos in executive level positons on any of its 64 campuses;
· co-hosting the Latino Leadership in Higher Education Summit;
· the naming of the first Latino to a post of Vice Chancellor;
· increased funding for the minority graduate fellowship program; and
· a focus on improving the ranks of minority faculty and staff throughout the system.
We are grateful to Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, Board Chairman Carl McCall, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Alexander N. Cartwright and Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Carlos Medina for the strong leadership they have exhibited in embracing and delivering on issues that spell success for our communities.
The SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has become a national model of best practices and has received national awards for its groundbreaking work. In addition, the recently adopted diversity policies by the Board of Trustees to improve inclusion and address the lack of minority faculty and professional staff are just now beginning to be fully implemented.
Unequivocal support for the full and forceful implementation of the adopted diversity policies, increased attention to the financial resources needed by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and expanding the capacity of the newly created Hispanic Leadership Institute are actions we look forward to seeing from Dr. Johnson.
The Task Force stands here as a resource and a partner in SUNY’s work to showcase the strength that diversity brings to academia, student success and our society as a whole. We look forward to working with the new chancellor on all these fronts.”