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November 6, 2015

Creating a More Inclusive Environment

Dear members of the Adelphi community,

Thank you for the candid and frank feedback on the many important issues that were shared during my first few months as part of my 100-Day Listening Tour. There were many common themes that emerged and in a couple of weeks, I will be sending out additional details on all of the themes that came from the listening tour. Some of the most thoughtful and open discussions have taken place around issues of diversity and inclusion.

I have heard from you through feedback to the website, through correspondence with faculty members, at the dialogue sessions I had with students, faculty and staff, and, most recently, at campus events, including the James McBride lecture as well as a report from the Conversations on Race Initiatives panel this week. I found this engagement to be an honest and respectful call for action, and I am heartened by its spirit of collaboration.

For more than 25 years, I have been working on issues of diversity and inclusion. At last week’s State of the University Address, I put our campus demographics at center stage to demonstrate my steadfast commitment to this issue. We can and must do better to reflect the demographics of our region and our broader society at all levels–faculty, staff and students–and I fully anticipate this will be top of mind as we move forward with the development of our strategic plan.

I firmly believe that diversity benefits our entire community, fosters successful decision making and enhances the learning environment and outcomes of our students. I am committed to supporting dialogues and activities that demonstrate how Adelphi University values and supports diversity and ensuring that we are the model for a socially just and inclusive institution.

However, increasing compositional diversity is not the only goal. We must focus on inclusiveness in regard to all people who are a part of our community. This, in many cases, is much harder to achieve, but we can redouble our efforts in this area immediately, and actions can be carried out by each of us on a daily basis.

Perry Greene, Ph.D., associate provost for faculty affairs and institutional diversity, and CarolAnn Daniel, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Social Work, are co-chairs of our institutional diversity committee. Dr. Greene is actively working on an immediate initiative to gain additional perspective on how to make our campus more welcoming. And, I hope each of us will work every day to foster a positive environment in which we can learn and work together.

If you have not already done so, I also invite you to directly share your ideas on steps we can take to enhance our campus climate to make Adelphi a more inclusive community by building upon the good work that is already taking place with student and faculty groups via cross-campus partnerships and that we will continue as part of our strategic planning initiatives. Please email me your thoughts at

I look forward to working with you on making diversity and inclusion a priority for our University.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

All the best,


Christine M. Riordan, Ph.D.

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Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

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