The national search for a dean of equity and inclusion has officially come to a close.
Chris Hunt, who now serves as the associate dean of students and director of intercultural advancement and global inclusion at Moravian College, will be taking over the position from the interim dean Alex Hendrickson starting July 1.
The job has been vacant since former Dean of Intercultural Development John McKnight left for another opportunity at Connecticut College last spring. The position’s name changed to reflect the full amount of responsibilities associated with the job at the beginning of the search in September.
It won’t be Hunt’s first time employed by Lafayette College. Fourteen years ago, the Lehigh Valley native worked as Lafayette’s associate director of residence life in 2003, according to a campus-wide email sent out by Vice President for Campus Life Annette Diorio.
According to Diorio’s email, Hunt has also worked with students through various programs, like the annual Lehigh Valley Independent Association of Colleges conference Bridging the Gap, which facilities communication between people of diverse backgrounds.
The search for the new dean, begun last September, has included input from students, faculty and staff. Byerly said she feels Hunt has a strong background that will be beneficial with his interactions with the campus community.
“I was very impressed with his understanding of students,” Byerly said. “He seems to have an excellent grasp, not only of students and their concerns, but he also understands how a college like Lafayette works, and I think he’ll work very effectively with the administration and myself and others.”
According to Byerly, conversations with Hunt have encompassed several programs he’s implemented in the past and what has been successful in creating an open atmosphere for dialogue. In particular, Hunt wanted to address the need to offer a wider range of speakers on campus with varieties of perspectives in order to open up ideas and conversation.
Hunt also has work with coordinating “smaller workshop-type settings,” according to Byerly, where training is offered for handling certain kinds of dialogue that may pose difficult questions.
In his new role, Hunt will report to Diorio and serve as a member of the President’s Administrative Leadership Team, according to Diorio’s email.
Byerly also said that she felt that Hunt’s previous interactions with the campus will be beneficial in his transition, and Hunt wrote that he is excited to start in his new role at his previous workplace.
“I look forward to building supportive relationships with students, faculty, and staff upon my return to Lafayette,” Hunt wrote in an email. “In my view, it is essential to facilitate opportunities for dialogue and intercultural communication at a liberal arts institution, so I hope to collaborate and be one of the many contributors to this important work at the college.”
Byerly said she looks forward to having him contribute to the college.
“He had tremendous energy and enthusiasm, and I know he was very highly thought of at Moravian,” she said. “I just think we are fortunate to have him, and I look forward to working with him.”
Kathryn Kelly ’19 contributed reporting.