President Hurd has announced a restructuring of her office to better align administrative staff with her priorities as she begins the first year of her presidency.
First, Sherryta Freeman, director of athletics, is now reporting directly to Hurd and will be a member of the President’s Cabinet.
“The role that intercollegiate athletics plays in contributing to our educational offerings and community life on campus—especially for the some 20 percent of our students who compete on one or more of our 23 Division I teams—is integral to who we are,” Hurd said. “I am looking forward to having Sherryta on our leadership team and the contributions she will make as we become a stronger Lafayette.”
Second, Hurd is creating a special adviser role that will report directly to her on special projects, starting with the work to strengthen efforts to be a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. “While DEI strategies and planning are well established in various parts of the institution, I believe that we need a centrally coordinated drive to lift up this work throughout the College,” the president said.
Finally, Hurd eliminated two special assistant positions: one for strategic planning implementation, held by Amir Tejani; and one for Board of Trustees and community relations, held by Melissa Starace.
“I want to acknowledge and thank Amir and Melissa for their contributions to the College,” Hurd said. “Amir provided helpful analyses for our strategic direction, and he was a tireless leader of the Incident Action Group throughout most of the COVID-19 disruptions. Melissa brought energy and enthusiasm to our interactions with the broader community, and she masterfully managed our Commencement ceremonies, including overseeing the move to Fisher Stadium.
“Instead of launching a formal strategic planning process, I am planning to use my first year as one of listening and learning, while moving ahead on several initiatives that are important to our campus and community life and the quality of the educational experience we provide,” Hurd said. “The totality of this restructuring will help move us forward on several initiatives and introduce greater efficiencies in our operations.”
Responsibility for Commencement is being reassigned to the Division of Development and College Relations, where there are several staff members with expertise in managing special events. Aspects of Board of Trustees and community relations are also managed in Development. Hurd said she is still considering multiple options for that function.