New Adelphi student affairs VP is a multicultural match

Dean of diversity: Multicultural maestro Ronald Sentwali Bakari will head up Adelphi University's student services and programs, beginning in December.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

A Fulbright Award winner with a multicultural M.O. will direct Adelphi University’s student affairs.

The Garden City-based university has named Ronald Sentwali Bakari its new dean of students and vice president for student affairs, effective Dec. 3. Bakari is currently chancellor for student success at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

At Adelphi, he’ll oversee key student-oriented services and programs, ranging from student-involvement and residential-life programs to health and professional-development services.

These extracurricular efforts – focused on conduct, wellbeing, faith, future careers and other non-educational factors – are critical to the individual student’s collegiate experience, according to Adelphi University President Christine Riordan, and will benefit greatly from Bakari’s long résumé of inclusive, multiethnic experiences.

“His passionate support of students’ multicultural understanding complements Adelphi’s firmly held values of diversity and inclusion, civic engagement and global awareness,” Riordan noted. “Dr. Bakari’s impressive career and track record is well aligned with Adelphi’s relentless dedication to student success.”

Christine Riordan: Diversity in mind.

Before UCCS, Bakari served as dean of students and senior student affairs officer at Iowa’s Drake University. The PhD (College Student Personnel Administration and Leadership, University of Northern Colorado) previously worked at Texas Christian University and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

His nomadic path through higher education has also passed previously through New York: Bakari has made stops at Oneonta’s Hartwick College and the State University of New York at Oswego, in addition to serving as dean of students for a 2015 Semester at Sea.

At each post, diversity set the tone. Bakari, a 2013 recipient of the International Education Administrators Fulbright Award to the United Kingdom, has participated in a number of programs stressing multiculturalism, including joining an African American faculty delegation to Israel, helping to develop faculty and staff travel courses to Israel, Egypt and Turkey and even coaching youth basketball in Denmark.

His Fall 2015 Semester at Sea took collegians on a voyage from the Mediterranean to Africa to Central America, with stops in Italy, Croatia, Greece, Senegal, Costa Rica and other exotic ports of call.

The renowned educator has also presented at numerous academic conferences, including the Association of International Education Administrators, Diversity Abroad and the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity, among others.

Those high-profile experiences, along with his well-worn passport and well-known flair for diversity, will serve him well at Adelphi, according to the university’s president.

“I am confident that Dr. Bakari’s leadership will help us further enrich our students’ academic experiences and overall outcomes, present and future,” Riordan added. “Our community looks forward to his bright vision and leadership.”