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April 18, 2022

Dear Members of the HWS Community,

I write this afternoon with the news that Khuram Hussain, who has served as the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion since 2020, will be joining Middlebury College this summer as its Vice President of Equity and Inclusion leading the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and as Associate Professor of Education Studies. This is both extraordinarily sad for all of us and a wonderful next career move for Khuram. I ask that you join me in wishing him congratulations. Middlebury will be made stronger, more inclusive and more vibrant with Khuram’s leadership.

Khuram has been a central voice in the evolution of Hobart and William Smith since his arrival in 2008, serving as a Professor of Education and Dean of Hobart College. When I asked him to take on the new role of Vice President for DEI, I knew he would be dynamic and inspiring. But what consistently impressed me was his unwavering passion for the student experience as well as for the role that faculty and administrators play in creating a culturally responsive environment for teaching and learning. He has been a trusted adviser to me and to so many others on campus, crafting a new vision for belonging, one that has resulted in tremendous energy and progress in this area. The advancement of the Strategic Diversity Plan, the development of the Board’s Belonging, Diversity and Equity Committee, the first-ever formation of an integrated DEI division comprised of multiple offices, and the upcoming renovation and addition to the Intercultural Affairs Center – these and so many other initiatives can be traced back to Khuram’s vision and determination. We will announce details about a going-away reception as soon as possible so that we can join together in thanking him.

The Colleges will run a national search for Khuram’s successor, and I have asked Provost and Dean of Faculty Sarah Kirk and Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students Becca Barile to co-chair the search committee, with the goal of conducting on-campus interviews in the fall. Bill Boerner, our Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion/Title IX Coordinator, will serve as the Interim Vice President. Before coming to HWS in 2019, Bill was the Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at SUNY Fredonia for six years. I am confident that Bill has the experience and skills necessary to continue the direction of Khuram’s efforts as the search for the Vice President is ongoing. Khuram and Bill will work closely during the next months to ensure that the transition is a smooth one. 

Sincerely,

Joyce P. Jacobsen
President