Christyn Abaray, Chief of Staff to President Laurie Carter, responded to last week’s article on behalf of the Lawrence administration.
Abaray said that Lawrence is continuing to work on its infrastructure issues, including upgrading residence halls, classrooms and academic buildings and campus technology. She added that these improvements are being made with accessibility in mind. One of the specific efforts she mentioned is the installment of ramps on administrative houses across campus.
“Accessibility is important for an equitable learning, living and working environment,” said Abaray.
Abaray also mentioned that Lawrence has hired an Assistant Dean of Students for International Student Services, Dena Reuben.
In response to criticisms about Lawrence not investing enough into Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (DEIA), Abaray said that DEIA is an issue that Lawrence is always seeking to improve on. She said that the goal is to ensure that students have their needs met and even exceeded. She referenced the campus climate survey, listening sessions between the Committee on Diversity Affairs (CODA) and the President’s Cabinet and the appointment of Professor of Gender Studies Helen Boyd Kramer as DEIA Affinity Groups Coordinator, in order to help address the needs of employees from marginalized communities.
Abaray addressed student and employee retention. She referenced the EAB Navigate platform, to better address the needs of struggling students and working to improve the work environment for employees.
Finally, Abaray mentioned Lawrence’s new Business and Entrepeneurship major to improve the student experience.