Syracuse University

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Alston named senior vice president for human capital development

October 14, 2011

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

Kal Alston has been named senior vice president for human capital development at Syracuse University. Alston’s appointment to this newly created position addresses the need for the strategic leadership of major initiatives and projects related to the inclusion and development of human capital—in all divisions of the University and leveraging linkages between academic, human resources, educational and community activities on and off campus. 

“Kal Alston’s unique qualities and qualifications as an academic and administrative leader, as well as a scholar, make her perfectly suited to launch and develop this innovative position,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “Her new portfolio of responsibilities sharply reflects the University’s established and emerging needs to develop our people creatively and seize opportunities to transcend traditional approaches in attracting and cultivating talent across the spectrum of faculty and staff roles.” 

AlstonAlston most recently served as SU’s senior associate provost, in addition to co-leading the day-to-day and strategic human resources functions at the University. As part of the cross-functional team with Vice President for Business Operations Jena Prideaux McWha, Alston has been responsible for developing a plan to align HR functions with the mission and vision of the University—inclusive of Academic Affairs and administrative units—and will continue the implementation of that plan. 

As senior vice president for human capital development, Alston will build and lead two new units in addition to the Office of Human Resources—one office responsible for equal opportunity and conflict resolution, and the other responsible for supporting education and professional development programs for faculty, staff, managers and leaders at all levels inside the University, and across SU’s unique partnerships outside of the University. This portfolio will encompass the traditional functions of human resources that are often disengaged from the vision of a university, but can provide the foundation and expertise to support individual and institutional development.  

“I believe that Kal will be very successful in working across silos and building a human capital strategy that fosters excellence, collaboration, and access and opportunity,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. “I certainly look forward to continuing our close working relationship on Academic Affairs matters, including support of faculty and academic leadership development, where her experience and wisdom has been of great value to me and the Chancellor.” 

Alston is energized by the challenge to develop new, integrated approaches to SU’s human resources. “This new portfolio extends through all divisions of the University and leverages the complex of diverse resources—fiscal, material and human—on campus and in our partner communities. It’s an exciting opportunity to further SU’s academic and research mission by optimizing the broad range and profound depth of talent we have here,” she says.  

Since joining the University in 2005, Alston has focused her efforts on helping academic units foster collaborations inside and outside of the University to broaden the academic impact on and for faculty and students. As associate provost for academic administration until 2010, she has been invested in academic resource planning, faculty services and support, and academic policy development. 

Alston is a professor of cultural foundations of education and women’s and gender studies. She serves on the national advisory board of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life.

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