Dean Phyllis Scott appointed Special Advisor to the President for Equity and Social Justice

Dean Phyllis Scott appointed Special Advisor to the President for Equity and Social Justice

Dear Barry University Community,

As we forge ahead in drawing upon our unique expertise at Barry University to lead in dismantling systems that have perpetuated racial injustice in this country, I am pleased to share that Dr. Phyllis Scott, Dean of the School of Social Work, has agreed to work with me as a Special Advisor to the President for Equity and Social Justice.

Dr. Scott is an alumna, a longtime leader on campus, and a vital partner to several South Florida non-profits and human rights organizations. She is a brilliant, passionate and impactful advocate, and I am grateful that she has agreed to take on this important role.

As the focus of her work, Dr. Scott will coordinate our institutional efforts and head the new Barry University Anti-Racism and Equity Coalition, a body that will consist of leaders throughout our community- faculty, staff, students, alumni and local leaders- dedicated to addressing systemic and institutionalized racism.

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s brutal killing, a group of committed university leaders came together to help chart our path forward. During our productive meetings, we determined this path should include a focus on support and healing for our students, faculty and staff; educational programs and dialogue for members of our campus community; and drawing upon our campus expertise, community engagement, and action-oriented programs to drive change throughout society. Today’s announcement stemmed from the conversations with this group, and I am thankful for their thoughtful guidance. Each of them has agreed to continue this work, and I know they will play a valuable role in our larger coalition.

Dr. Scott has already enthusiastically begun her work and she will be building the coalition in the coming weeks, with a focus on action-oriented initiatives and outcomes. She will remain Dean of the School of Social Work, and I thank Associate Dean Dr. Maria Teahan, Dr. Sharron Singleton, Stephanie Theile and Danielle Koller for agreeing to expand their roles to allow Dr. Scott the latitude to lead this endeavor. 

The senseless tragedy of George Floyd’s death has led to a moment in American history where so many more are truly willing to acknowledge the inequity and systemic injustice that persists in our country. At Barry, we are committed to seizing this moment, and continuing to make that work our responsibility. Please join me in expressing our collective gratitude to Dr. Scott for leading our charge.


Mike Allen, PhD