Newsletter: August 2022

Welcome Back, Jayhawks!

The Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging welcomes all Jayhawks to campus for the 2022 - 2023 academic year.  In this August issue of our new newsletter, we are pleased to share important changes and updates to our website that have occurred over the last few months with the goal of reintroducing our office to the community. Our goal is to help the KU community identify where DEIB leaders, support resources, and programs are on KU’s campus in the most effective way possible. We  updated our website to include a robust campus map, resource portal, and more to help the campus identify DEIB resources and support leadership in schools, departments, and programs. In the last year, we have helped establish Equity Advisors in 13 schools and 3 affiliate units with plans to add additional Equity Advisors campus-wide over the next two years. 
The Office of DEIB at KU considers every Jayhawk to be valuable and deserving of equity opportunity, attention, recognition, and respect. KU’s diverse community of students, staff, and faculty are the foundation of its excellence.

Our vision and mission are dedicated to cultivating an environment where everyone belongs and thrives as they engage KU’s mission “to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world."

RISE: Realizing Intersectional Standards of Excellence

RISE (Realizing Intersectional Standards of Excellence) is our comprehensive DEIB plan which aligns with the KU strategic plan, Jayhawks Rising,  to incorporate DEIB in all aspects of university life. RISE centers intersectionality as a flexible and all-encompassing framework which features multimodal approaches to campus engagement, accountability, education, and practice . RISE offers a holistic approach to creating institutional belonging where all Jayhawks are respected and valued as they are. A snapshot of our efforts to incorporate DEIB in all aspects of university life include, 
but are not limited to:

  • Educating the campus about intersectionality as an organizing framework to help the campus achieve and maintain an equitable climate where all Jayhawks can thrive. 
  • Addressing social and systemic inequities in all aspects academic life including structural, administrative, pedagogical, social, and cultural barriers that impact the quality of life for students, staff, and faculty.
  • Providing best practices for campus administrators, students, staff, and faculty to engage all aspects of diversity while acknowledging the socio-historical inequities that impact expectations for many overlapping communities to thrive at KU.
  • Offering intersectional approaches to university policy and procedure development for campus administrators
    • to remove barriers to success 
    • to provide prescriptive message guides for campus DEIB leadership for increased continuity and clear understanding of campus resources.
  • Implementing “flight prevention” pathways for students, staff, and faculty to engage with university leadership in times of unit or department crisis, and/or hostile work and learning place behavior.
  • Providing support for campus partners and collaborators to reduce duplicate programming while increasing amplification of departments, centers, and service centers that engage DEIB for students, staff, and faculty. 

Our new RISE Portal on the DEIB website is currently under construction as we build out these assets for the campus. We will provide updates via email, website, and social media as we make new resources available for administrators, students, staff, and faculty. 

Standing Commitments and Funding Opportunities

The KU Office of DEIB recognizes existing campus centers, departments, and offices that continue to create positive impact on our campus by advancing inclusivity efforts so that all Jayhawks can thrive. To support these efforts, we have created standing co-production financial commitments with units that have a historical campus commitment to DEIB. We will co-produce campus events to support units who create programming that increase the fluency of DEIB discourses for all constituents at KU. As campus units continue to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of administration, research, teaching, and campus service, we will offer support to help increase support and access for all Jayhawks. To date, we have allocated standing annual commitments to the following units that create campus-wide programming:

In addition to these standing commitments, we supported the following initiatives: 

We will continue our efforts to allocate funding support to advance critical conversations about DEIB at KU. For more information about criteria for campus funding support and application information, please visit our web page.  

Responses to National and International Events

The Office of DEIB will continue to update the campus on our action plans and campus resources available in the wake of national events that impact our campus climate and members of our Jayhawk community. When possible, we will solicit unified responses with campus partners – from student, staff, and faculty senates to other community facing offices and organizations – to collectively support the wellness of all Jayhawks. 

Though we cannot respond to every national and international event, please stay tuned to our News & Communications web page, Twitter, and Instagram in times of crisis.

In the new academic year, we will archive all responses, programs, and events for the campus community. We invite you to bookmark our website and follow our social for up-to-date information on campus events, programs, national and international events that concern the wellness of our campus climate. 

Meet Our Team

We are a diverse team with a range of areas of expertise to serve our campus. We invite you to explore the bios of our dynamic team.

Get Involved: KU Faculty Staff Councils

Did you know that KU has eight Faculty Staff Councils? These self-governing groups are a great way for employees to find community around shared identities and values. Each Council determines its purpose and programs, including social connections, professional networking, and advocacy. The Office of DEIB supports each council and acts as a point of contact between the councils and our campus communities. 
We have received interest in starting a Jewish Faculty Staff Council. Ira Kirschner, prospective council founder, has created an online survey and asks for campus interest for developing this new council. 

Job Search for Vice Provost of DEIB

In February, Provost Bichelmeyer announced a national search for the next Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging to serve the KU community. The Office of the Provost created a search page on their website that lists all committee members and will provide updates through the process.
The Office of DEIB will continue work as the search progress. Please send questions or concerns to the Office of the Provost.

Upcoming Events

Plans are well underway for educational programs for the 2022 – 2023 academic year. we invite you to mark your calendars for exciting programs sponsored by the Office of DEIB on our events webpage. You can filter for “diversity and inclusion” on the KU Events Calendar.
We archive past events as a resource for continued learning. When available, we upload recordings of virtual and hybrid programs.