Grasso on perceptions of admin., future of the university at Town Hall

Town hall_15479482301_lFrom file.
Grasso at a past Town Hall meeting.


Provost Domenico Grasso met with about 50 people Wednesday at a Town Hall meeting designed to provide students, faculty and staff an opportunity to raise questions and comments about the university. Student attendance was low and the meeting was brief at just over 30 minutes.

Your Review recap:

On the display of distrust of administration at Monday’s sexual assault forum

Grasso said he was “saddened” to learn of a show of hands at this week’s sexual assault forum in which a majority of those in attendance agreed they did not trust the administration.

“This administration works very hard in the best interests of the faculty and the students,” Grasso said. “And I would welcome any conversation about where you feel that trust has been misplaced.”

Grasso cited work underway on issues such as Title IX violations, drug and alcohol abuse and mental health issues, which he said administrators began to discuss before they became topics of national discussion.

“I was very disappointed to hear that because I can’t imagine a more dedicated group of individuals than the administration here in dealing with these issues,” he said.

Grasso was in attendance at the sexual assault forum but had to leave prior to the show of hands. He was informed of it afterward.

On the university’s strategic plan soon becoming available for public comment

It is nearly time for the Delaware Will Shine report to become available for public comment. The report will be 12-15 pages long and has involved the work of hundreds of faculty members on various committees, Grasso said.

The draft will be released “very very soon,” Grasso said. At that time, there will be an open forum for public comment on the draft.

Grasso answered questions regarding the continuity of Delaware Will Shine given President Patrick T. Harker’s departure for the Philadelphia Fed this July, saying the intensive faculty involvement in developing the report means that “the university is going to own this plan.”

“It is going to be resilient to any changes, hopefully, that happen at the university because it is going to be owned by the faculty and students that have worked on this plan,” Grasso said.

On diversity

The meeting opened with note that this year’s applicant pool is the second largest in university history and saw the largest percentage of applicants from underrepresented groups.

There will also be a new position created—Vice Provost for Diversity—in response to a request from the student body, Grasso said.

Grasso has also asked Vice Provost for Diversity Carol Henderson to assemble a task force to explore better ways to support the multicultural community at the university, inclusive of students from a range of underrepresented groups such as veterans, persons with disabilities, LGBT students and multiple ethnic groups, Grasso said.

Correction: The diversity position created is a Vice Provost, not a director. Additionally, Carol Henderson will be assembling a task force to explore ways to support the multicultural community, not a center.

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