Press Releases

Alfred University appoints its first-ever director of student diversity and inclusion

Alfred University | 6/20/18

Brian Saltsman
Brian Saltsman

Alfred University announces the appointment of Brian Saltsman to the newly-created position of director of student diversity and inclusion.

ALFRED, NY – Alfred University announces the appointment of Brian Saltsman to the newly-created position of director of student diversity and inclusion.

Saltsman, whose appointment is effective July 17, comes to Alfred University with nearly two decades of experience in higher education, most recently at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. The position is under Alfred University’s Division of Student Affairs, Center for Student Involvement.

“Dr. Saltsman will be a great addition to the staff in student affairs. His energy, commitment and experience will allow him the opportunity to jump right in and have an immediate impact on our campus,” said Patricia Debertolis, associate dean of students at Alfred University. “The staff in the Center for Student Involvement can’t wait to start making plans for this upcoming academic year with Brian’s help and feedback.”

As the second-oldest coeducational institution in the country, Alfred University has always valued diversity and remained committed to fostering an environment of inclusivity. Saltsman’s appointment marks the first time diversity and inclusion programming at Alfred University will be led by a director-level supervisor. In the past, those efforts have been overseen by a coordinator of diversity programming and, more recently, by a Diversity Fellow.

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Saltsman as a member of the student affairs leadership team as our first director of student diversity and inclusion,” commented Kathy Woughter, vice president of Student Affairs at Alfred University. “He has a depth and breadth of experience that are perfect for Alfred University. Brian’s capacity for teaching, community-building and program development are exactly what we need.”

As director of student diversity and inclusion, Saltsman will propose, develop and implement programs designed to increase the participation of diverse students in campus-wide events and activities and deepen their engagement in the University. These efforts are aimed in part at supporting Alfred University’s student retention initiatives.

“I am proud, honored, and honestly humbled by the opportunity to be appointed and to fill this significant and important position and am beyond excited to become a part of Saxon Nation and to be a part of an amazing team and institution with the history, prestige, and pedigree of Alfred University,” Saltsman said. “I am eager to begin working with and developing relationships with the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community involved with making Alfred University the institution it is and look forward to working to create new opportunities, bolster and maintain success, and embody the steadfast and honorable commitment that the director of student diversity and inclusion represents both internally and to our peers locally and globally.”

Saltsman’s responsibilities will include serving as advisor to the student-directed Institute for Cultural Unity (ICU), a collective of nine student organizations, including African Student Association, Umoja (Black Student Union), Poder Latino, Spectrum (LGBTQ+), Caribbean Student Association, Newman Club (Catholic), Students Acting for Gender Equality, Asians in America, Pangea and Drawn to Diversity (Art Therapy / Social Justice). He will also mentor students leaders involved in these organizations and oversee the ICU, supervising and training ICU coordinators, and will serve on various committees, including the Bias Response Team, President’s Committee on Diversity, and the newly-formed Social Justice Curriculum Committee.

At Allegheny College, Saltsman held faculty positions while also holding supervisory roles in Allegheny College’s Center for Intercultural Advancement and Student Success. The Center created and supported co-curricular programs and initiatives that encourage community engagement and link diversity, inclusion and social equity with student academic and personal success. Saltsman served as the Center’s associate director from 2015-16 and as its interim director from 2015-16.

While at Allegheny, he was assistant professor in the Psychology Department from 2009-15 and in the Black Studies Department from 2015-16. He is a trained facilitator in the Sustained Dialogues program, Safe Zone, and aspiring allyship, and he served at Allegheny as a Faculty Athletic Representative. 

Saltsman earned a bachelor’s degree in biobehavioral health from Pennsylvania State University in 2001. In 2007, he earned a doctoral degree in biobehavioral health from Penn State, with emphases in racial and ethnic identity, intercultural health disparities, and adoptive familial development.

Prior to coming to Allegheny College, Saltsman was an instructor for two years (2007-09) in the Biobehavioral Health Department at Pennsylvania State University, teaching general education and biobehavioral health classes.

From 2003-07, while a graduate student, he was a research and teaching assistant in Penn State’s Center for Developmental and Health Genetics and Department of Biobehavioral Health. From 2001-03, Saltsman was project coordinator of the Northeast-Northwest Collaborative Adoption Projects, Department of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State. He served as the national coordinator for an international adoption project involving more than 2,800 families. As an undergraduate, he was a research assistant in the Biobehavioral Health Studies Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, from 1999-2001.

Saltsman said his experience at Allegheny and Penn State will serve him well in his new role at Alfred University.

“I believe my time as a professor, administrator, and mentor to students at both Penn State and Allegheny College has provided me with the ability to adapt to changing social landscapes, competing demands and obligations, and provided opportunities for developing meaningful relationships without regard to rank, status, or identity,” Saltsman commented. “Meeting people where they are and finding those things which we share in common based on our shared humanity and not based upon labels has always been at the core of who I am as a person and a scholar-practitioner.”