Former Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Nandi Bynoe (LA’09, AG’16) was named the new associate dean of diversity and inclusion at the beginning of this school year. The Diversity and Inclusion division, of which Bynoe is a part, encompasses the Group of Six, which includes the Africana Center, the Asian American Center, the FIRST Resource Center, the Latino Center, the LGBT Center and the Women’s Center.
The new associate deanship follows the creation of the chief diversity officer (CDO) positions, to which Robert Mack and Joyce Sackey were appointed, according to previous reporting by the Daily.
According to Mack, associate provost and CDO for the Medford and SMFA campuses, and Sackey, associate provost and CDO for health science schools, the creation of the dean of diversity and inclusion positions for all schools at Tufts in April 2018 were in response to what they view as an increased need for more support surrounding diversity and inclusion.
However, after noting the necessity of increasing diversity resources on campus — in part through the results of a university-wide diversity and inclusion audit — Mack and Sackey concluded that in addition to having CDOs there was also a need for an associate role for increased support.
Bynoe was appointed to this role to fulfill this need.
“The deans of each school are creating at least one assistant/associate dean for diversity and inclusion (ADDI) position, with the goal of taking leadership for diversity and inclusion matters in their respective schools and reporting directly to the school dean,” Mack and Sackey said in an email to the Daily.
As associate dean of diversity and inclusion, Bynoe plans to serve as a bridge between the student body and the university-wide Provost Cabinet. She will serve as a contact for students, faculty, staff and departments who have concerns about diversity and inclusion, according to Bynoe. Bynoe will also provide support and leadership for diversity and inclusion priorities, such as the Group of Six, among other responsibilities.
A Tufts alumna, Bynoe was previously the sexual misconduct resource specialist with the Center for Awareness, Resources, and Education and served as assistant dean of student affairs.
“My feelings for my new role as associate dean of diversity and inclusion are all positive,” Bynoe said. “I went to Tufts for undergrad, also for graduate school, and I have been working here for 10years, so I am really committed to creating a really good student experience.”
Both Sackey and Mack are confident that Bynoe will flourish in her new role, and both attribute this confidence to her character and vast amount of experience.
“As a former Tufts undergraduate and a long-standing, well-rounded staff member at Tufts who has worked for many years in Student Services, Student Affairs, and the Center for Awareness, Resources and Education, Dean Bynoe brings a wealth of institutional knowledge and hands-on experiences to her new position,” Sackey and Mack said.
Mack and Sackey lauded Bynoe’s experience working with students.
“We expect her experience broadly supporting students and coordinating resources, as well as her work promoting sexual misconduct prevention, will be an invaluable asset as she strives to promote diversity, inclusion, dialogue, and respect in all its forms across the University,” they said.
Bynoe will also work closely with the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council, a group focusing on diversity and inclusion chaired by University President Anthony Monaco, by relaying student voices, opinions and concerns to the larger council body.
“The other part of my role is working with the university council, and it is one where I can bring the perspectives of students and address them at the larger council,” Bynoe said
Regarding challenges surrounding the new role, Bynoe said she has no expectations and is prepared to listen to campus groups and colleagues before addressing challenges.
“Right now I am in learning mode — even though I’ve been involved in this work for many years, I do not presume to know what people think of as their challenges, so now I am trying to listen across the group and bring everyone together to strategize about different ideas and issues,” Bynoe said.
Overall, Bynoe is confident in her ability to best provide support in her new role.
“There is always work to be done; if there wasn’t I wouldn’t need to be in a role like this, but I also see Tufts students as wanting to learn, engage and understand other people’s perspectives,” she said.