MaryAnn Black credits her old boss Ralph Snyderman for doing much to bring diversity to Duke
MaryAnn Black credits her old boss Ralph Snyderman for doing much to bring diversity to Duke. Snyderman is a former chancellor and the former CEO and president of Duke University Health System. He hired Black in 2002 as his director of community affairs and later promoted her to associate vice president of community relations.
when I became chancellor of Duke in 1989 one of the first things that I wanted to do is truly understand all the aspects of Duke Hospital. One day it must have been in July of 1989. I just started the job. I wanted to go toe, although different areas of the hospital and I went to the Duke Laundry, which I never knew existed before I walked into that laundry. If I had to guess who was probably July 8th, it was 112 degrees. No air conditioning. Virtually everybody's there with these noisy washing machines were all black in the office was the supervisor who was white. I've never seen anything like this in my life. The whole experience was a dismal experience. I went back to my office and I said, We need Thio Air condition. That place I remember, the chief business officer said Ralph, that would be $300,000 at that time. Still lives A lot of money, I said. We got to do it. It became clear to me within three or four years of being chancellor that the black workforce and there was a large black work workforce called Duke the Plantation. I never heard anything like that before. I began to understand it, though, when we would have meetings, Uh, in our conference room and virtually everybody sitting around the table was white and virtually everybody serving us was black. So it became a matter of equity. And Nan Cohen, the president of Duke, felt very strongly about this is Well, so we created an initiative to try to enhance diversity at the top levels of the institution within the academic, uh, components of the medical center in the departments. And we recruited the first black chairs, women chairs. At that time, we had 8% black students. By the time I stepped down, that number was up to 23%. It was number one, the issue of what is right. And then the issue of saying we're going to do something about it, we're gonna actively do something about it by changing our leadership, which we did