Biden joins UD in formally welcoming new president
Dennis Assanis was officially sworn-in as the 28th president of University of Delaware Wednesday morning.
The new president made clear in his inaugural address that diversity and inclusion are among his top priorities, especially as hate speech and bigotry are on the rise in schools across the nation.
“I am very passionate about embracing diversity and inclusive excellence. And thankfully, so are my colleagues on the faculty, staff and the board of trustees,” Assanis said.
Vice President Joe Biden returned to his alma mater to welcome Assanis, praising him for breaking down barriers between disciplines in his previous position as Stony Brook University provost.
During his speech, Assanis proposed renaming UD’s School of Public Policy Administration for Biden and announced the upcoming groundbreaking on a new 10-story tower at the university’s STAR campus.
Assanis also pledged to invest in graduate programs, and double the number of graduate students in the next 10 years.
As president, Assanis plans to move ahead with interdisciplinary study.
He believes education can no longer be compartmentalized if we want to solve the world’s problems. And he wants to prepare UD students for a globalized world at a time when some people would prefer to put up walls.
“The most complex problems we face, such as climate change, energy and sustainability, global health and quality of life do not adhere to international borders or the boundaries of a single discipline … nor can our attempts to address them,” Assanis said.
Biden called on Assanis to stop the job losses caused by globalization, digitization and automation.
Biden said he’s charging Assanis with turning these forces into new opportunities that create jobs for America’s working class.
“That will be under your leadership Mr. President. An awesome, awesome responsibility,” Biden said.