Posted by Elizabeth Hopkins '15
Joshua Woodfork, former assistant professor in the American Studies Department from 2005 to 2010, has been appointed executive director of the Office of the President and coordinator of strategic initiatives at Skidmore College. He will assist the President and members of the Cabinet in advancing the Office's agendas. To give students a clearer idea of his role in the Office, Woodfork describes it as the "Chief of Staff position."
Woodfork was one of 200 applicants who applied last spring for the position. After spending three years working at American University and Trinity College, he decided that he wanted to return to Skidmore and continue working on initiatives from a new, administrative approach. "I decided that I can have an impact if I move into administration, just as much as I have in a teaching role," Woodfork said.
His work as a faculty liaison in the Franklin Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program at American University-an initiative that provides underprivileged students the opportunity to win educational scholarships-and as an administrator at Trinity College provided him with a strong background in administration.
During his time at Skidmore, he taught multiple classes focusing on whiteness and multiracialism, in addition to a few ethnographic courses. In addition to teaching diversity classes, Woodfork pioneered a Black and Latino Males Initiative in conjunction with Student Affairs, co-founded Skidmore College's Black Faculty and Staff Group and was heavily involved in Skidmore's Opportunity Program.
He hopes to continue working on diversity strategies in his role as coordinator of strategic initiatives at Skidmore. "One of the areas that I thought Skidmore needed to work on while I was here was diversity inclusion," Woodfork said. Since leaving his teaching position at Skidmore three years ago, he has witnessed a tremendous increase in commitment to emphasizing diversity at Skidmore, whether in an increasingly inclusive student population or in the rise in student group efforts with diversity initiatives. He hopes to continue to work with student groups to see their goals accomplished.
Another key component in Woodfork's agenda is a renewed focus on community. He will work with President Glotzbach to develop a long-term community-building plan, in which students and faculty members will express their ideas on what they would like to see changed at Skidmore. If the plan is implemented, student groups will have the opportunity to add their ideas on a website. "You can make change happen here as a student," Woodfork said. He hopes that as new executive director of the Office of the President and coordinator of strategic initiatives, his goals will highlight the importance of student commitment and involvement at Skidmore.
For more information on Joshua Woodfork, please visit: http://www.skidmore.edu/news/2013/082813-joshua-woodfork-to-direct-office-of-president.php