Greetings from Interim Vice Provost Hodges Persley

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students, 
First and foremost, I am humbled by all the wonderful emails, texts and calls I received congratulating me on my appointment as Interim Vice Provost of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. I am inspired by the work being done on our campus, in our classrooms, and in special events created by faculty, staff, and students who want to help our campus to counter systemic inequities that are embedded in academia and society in general. 

All of us need a KU that reflects the best parts of the world we live in. It’s in our power to transform our campus together. I want you to know that your concerns are also my concerns. Strength builds in increments. KU must value the experiences of people who experience intersectional oppressions in all aspects of campus life on a daily basis. I have met with Faculty, Staff, and Student Senate leadership to hear representative concerns about the ways our campus community would like to see us move forward. While I am in this role, I intend to do all I can to help us move forward as a community that acknowledges systemic inequities and makes actionable steps to serve all Jayhawks. I will continue to work daily to shift the narrative to one where everyone feels that they belong and are valued at KU. We have great potential to change our story. But I can’t do it without all of you. You can help by visiting our website and social media pages to get more information about our plans and the events we host or co-sponsor on campus. As we prepare the campus for a national search for the permanent Vice Provost of DEIB, I encourage you to attend all candidate sessions to let your voices be heard. For more information about the search committee, please visit the VP of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging search page.

As a global majority faculty member who has served in several administrative roles, I know what it is like to work hard every day and still not feel valued or understood. I want to acknowledge the—students, staff, and faculty—who we have lost to other campuses and opportunities because they did not feel valued. I lift up all of Jayhawks who boldly speak out when they see or experience injustice.  We must pay closer attention to the needs of our community by developing a culture of action and follow-through. As the Interim Vice Provost, I am fortunate to work with the experienced, knowledgeable, and passionate team in the office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging to bring our campus together. I have hope that we can revise our story and make a better KU.