From the President

Appointment of the VP for DEI

The following message was sent to Faculty, Students, and Staff on May 7, 2021.

It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Alfredo Medina has been appointed as Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and College Diversity Officer following a national search and extensive meetings with members of the Bennington community. He will join us on June 14, 2021.

Alfredo is currently serving as the Executive Director for the Office for Public Engagement and Associate Director for the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Albany. Those who met him during the search process were enthusiastic about his deep experience, his strong commitment to making positive change and his warmth and energy. Alfredo is a collaborator, facilitator, and strategist. As a member of the College’s Senior leadership team, he will engage with students to build a community in which every student is welcome; work with faculty, staff and the President’s Working Group to develop and implement plans so that we can live our core values as an inclusive and antiracist campus. In his personal time, he enjoys visual arts, cooking, running, hip hop, and collecting elephant figurines.

Alfredo’s experience prepares him well for his work at Bennington. At the University of Albany, Alfredo recently co-chaired the University's Presidential Task Force for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, a self-study that resulted in a comprehensive plan for making campus changes relative to diversity, equity, and inclusion. He also has oversight of university-wide public engagement efforts which was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation's Classification for Community Engagement, an elective designation affirming an institution's commitment to community engagement. Alfredo previously served as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Risk Management and Compliance at Siena College.

Reflecting on his new role, Alfredo said, “As a first-generation college graduate and staunch supporter of the liberal arts tradition, I’m excited to join Bennington College in its quest to become a diverse, equitable, and antiracist institution. Given Bennington’s longstanding commitment to the arts and humanities and intellectual inquiry, I envision an institutional culture and environment rooted in social justice, equity, and inclusive excellence. I’m looking forward to working collectively with the Bennington community and external stakeholders to bring this bold vision to fruition.”

Alfredo holds a doctorate in educational policy and leadership and master's degrees in educational administration and policy studies as well as educational psychology and statistics from the State University at Albany. He has a BA in psychology from Utica College of Syracuse University.

I want to express my gratitude to the search committee, led by Director of Admissions Tonya Strong. Their keen attention to the responsibilities of this position and diligent work helped us to develop a robust and diverse group of talented candidates. I am particularly appreciative of the students, faculty, and staff who also engaged with us on this search. The insight gained during the listening sessions and your feedback from candidate interviews was invaluable. Thank you to all those who participated.

I also want to thank Delia Saenz, Advisor to the President for Institutional Inclusion, Equity, and Leadership Development, and the members of the President’s Working Group on antiracism, for their important contributions to this search. Their work continues to help inform the College's work on diversity, equity and inclusion and will be invaluable to Alfredo as he joins our community.

Please join me in welcoming Alfredo Medina to the Bennington community!