Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Updates

President Bob Iuliano shares recent updates related to the College's DEI senior leadership and how the College is making progress on its 2021-22 DEI commitments.

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

I write to share with you recent updates related to the College’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) senior leadership and how we will continue to make meaningful progress toward our 2021-22 DEI commitments this spring.

Interim Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Carlos Tasso Eira Aquino’s work at the College is concluding this week. Dr. Aquino advanced several important priorities during his interim assignment, most importantly working with the Campus Climate Study Implementation Group to launch the upcoming survey. As we prepare for the arrival of our permanent Chief Diversity Officer, the results of the survey will be an invaluable tool to help guide the College’s DEI efforts. We thank Dr. Aquino for his service to Gettysburg College over the fall semester.

Recognizing the need to continue to make progress on our DEI commitments, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Kafele Khalfani, Vice President of Student Experience and Chief Student Affairs Officer at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), will partner with the College for the remainder of the academic year.

Dr. Khalfani is a widely respected leader in DEI with more than 20 years of experience in student success. He will serve as a part-time resource to the College and a member of the President’s Council, and his expertise offers the College a necessary bridge until our permanent Chief Diversity Officer is in place.

In this role, Dr. Khalfani will help to advance three specific DEI priorities over the next several months. Bias Awareness Resource Committee (

  • Present recommendations to the President’s Council on meaningful employee anti-bias and anti-racism training and education platforms and programs.
  • Research contemporary best practices for trauma-informed bias incident awareness response and present a recommendation to the President’s Council on ways to improve the College’s current policies and practices.
  • Identify structures and systems to better support faculty and staff from underrepresented groups.

After vetting with appropriate campus stakeholders, our goal is to implement changes resulting from this work in time for the 2022-23 academic year. We are greatly appreciative of Dr. Khalfani’s insights and guidance during this time.

I would also like to thank Bruce Gordon ’68, trustee emeritus and former head of the NAACP, for his willingness to be a resource to me during this interim period. As you know, with the generous support of alumni and friends, we recently established the Bruce S. Gordon ’68 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Teaching Excellence Prize to honor Mr. Gordon’s many contributions to the College.

Chief Diversity Officer

As noted in our DEI midyear update in January, the College has launched a national search for a new Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). Gettysburg is partnering with WittKiefer, a highly regarded executive search firm that has supported more than 40 diversity officer searches across higher education over the last three years. The search committee is comprised of Gettysburg students, faculty, administrators, and staff. I am encouraged by WittKiefer’s thoughtful and thorough process to date and I’m confident the search will yield a visionary leader who will advance our DEI goals into the future. The new CDO will continue to serve as a member of the President’s Council. The work of the CDO search committee is in process.

Thank You

At such an important time in our College’s history—a moment when we are working to strengthen our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the community—I am deeply grateful that we will benefit from the wisdom and experience of Dr. Khalfani and Mr. Gordon. Together, I know we can create an inclusive and supportive learning environment in which every Gettysburgian can be their authentic self and do their best work. Thank you to all who continue to work resolutely in support of this vision.

Sincerely,

Bob Iuliano
President