Syracuse Orange: Athletics department creates post focused on diversity

Syracuse Orange (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Syracuse Orange (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images) /

The Syracuse Orange athletics department has named Salatha Willis to a newly established position focused on diversity, culture and climate.

Syracuse Orange athletics director John Wildhack has appointed Salatha Willis to a newly created post at the university, effective immediately, where he will focus on diversity, culture and climate, according to an announcement on

Willis is now Syracuse’s associate athletic director of diversity, culture and climate within the Orange’s athletics department. Here is more information on his new position from the press release.

"“Willis will be charged with developing and implementing new approaches to creating a highly engaged, inclusive and equitable culture for all of the University’s student-athletes, administrators, coaches and staff in the athletics department. Willis will provide oversight and effective delivery of diversity educational and developmental programming, evaluate and measure the effectiveness of existing programs and services, and serve on and support University-wide committees and community groups.”"

The statement says that Willis previously had served as the associate director of Syracuse’s Office of Student-Athlete Academic Development, where he provided assistance in various kinds of academic support, such as arranging tutors, academic monitoring, and orientations.

Besides his work at Syracuse University, Willis held positions in areas such as compliance, enrollment and athletics for academic institutions including Colgate, Indiana State, Martin University and Western Michigan, per the announcement.

"Wildhack offered high praise of Willis in the Orange’s media release. “In Salatha’s two decades of experience in higher education administration and college athletics, he has proven himself to be an extraordinary leader and communicator, earning the respect of his colleagues and the student-athletes under his charge,” Wildhack said. “He is the right person to take on this new role and challenge, focusing on the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion that will effect real culture change for all of our student-athletes and the entire Department of Athletics.”"