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Office of the President

Diversity and Inclusion Structure

Frequently Asked Questions

Why not elevate the Office of Diversity with its current functions and services to report to the President?


We recognize the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO) needs to report to the President. Much of the current work of the Office of Diversity focuses on student services. Student services are not run out of the President’s Office. Those student services are essential and are best served by the support and infrastructure of Student Life.

Won’t this new structure diminish resources currently used to support diversity?


This structure adds resources and capacity by having both the CDIO and the Associate Vice President for Student Life/Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs instead of just an Associate Provost. This structure also represents a renewed commitment on the part of all units to strive for inclusive excellence with accountability to the President. Advancing diversity and inclusion is a top priority for the President and university. The expectation is that additional resources will be needed and added through efforts such as the multicultural center and cultural competency programming.

Can we afford to add resources to advance diversity and inclusion during this time of constrained budgets?


We can’t afford not to, and this reaffirms our commitment to building a vibrant K-State community where all can thrive. We need to be a welcoming place and the university of choice for diverse students, faculty and staff. Resources strategically invested will help us achieve our K-State 2025 goal to build a connected, diverse, empowered, engaged, participatory university culture of learning and inclusive excellence.

Why is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer not also called a Vice President?


The CDIO is the senior advisor and leader working on diversity and inclusion across all units led by Vice Presidents. In this structure, as depicted in the organizational chart, the solid reporting line shows the CDIO reporting directly to the President, empowered on his behalf and charged with accountability to advance diversity and inclusion work institution-wide. The dotted line from the CDIO to the Provost and Vice Presidents depicts their shared responsibility and accountability to work together with the CDIO and be accountable for progress. The President is empowering the CDIO to act on his behalf because he understands advancing diversity and inclusion is one of his key responsibilities. In addition, at K-State, the title of Vice President is used for leaders with multiple units reporting to them.  

Will diversity and inclusion in academic matters be diminished as a result of the Office of Diversity no longer reporting to the Provost?


This structure does not change the core principle that academic matters are the province of the academic organization reporting to the Provost. Through the Provost, the academic organization will still be accountable for advancing diversity and inclusion in the areas of faculty development and curriculum, collaborating with the CDIO and the Associate Vice President for Student Life as appropriate. Wherever the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer resides on an organizational chart, the academic organization, through the deans, diversity point people, faculty and staff within the colleges and similar units, will continue the commitment to diversity work.

How does this structure impact the diversity, equity and inclusion work of Human Capital Services?


A key focus for the university is to improve recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff and promote equity and fairness. In this structure, the President is charging the CDIO to partner with the Vice President for Human Capital Services (HCS) to strengthen accountability and make gains in these areas, collaborating with the vice presidents, provost, deans, and department leaders.

HCS continues to have lead responsibility for implementing and upholding policies and procedures that ensure equity and fairness in employment practices, affirmative action planning and reporting, and conducting investigations of prohibited discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation. As depicted in the organizational chart, the Office of Institutional Equity reports directly to the President regarding investigations.

Who chairs the President’s Commission on Multicultural Affairs (PCMA) in this structure?


The CDIO chairs the PCMA. The Associate Vice President for Student Life serves as a member.

Who has responsibility for the Tilford Group work?


The Provost, through the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) and the Office of Diversity, currently supports the work of the Tilford Group. In the new structure, the TLC will work with the CDIO on continuing to advance the work of the Tilford Group.

Who has responsibility for leading and coordinating efforts related to climate and diversity strategic planning?


Those responsibilities are assigned to the CDIO collaborating with the university community.

Who will work with diversity point people at the university?


The CDIO will work with the diversity point people to support their efforts to advance diversity and inclusion work in the colleges and other units. Diversity point people also will have a resource in the Associate Vice President for Student Life on student matters.

Who is going to take the lead on a vision for a multicultural student center?


As a student center, the Associate Vice President for Student Life will take the lead, working with the Vice President for Student Life. The CDIO will collaborate to support their efforts, including participating in fundraising.

Will the CDIO have fundraising responsibilities?


Yes, to support institutional diversity and inclusion initiatives, such as the center, cultural competence programming and scholarships.

Will academic credentials be required for the CDIO?


Academic credentials are included in the draft position description to be reviewed and refined by the search committee once appointed. Given the responsibilities for the position to work across the academy, such credentials will be necessary.

What information was considered in determining this new structure and position descriptions?


We reviewed campus climate survey results, as well as the K-State 2025 diversity planning undertaken by the PCMA. We listened to comments received through an open forum with affinity groups and feedback solicited from the K-State community. We reviewed structures at peer institutions, related position descriptions, Educational Advisory Board reports, and data collected from website reviews. We also consulted the Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers approved by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).

Why are you making a decision on the structure before students return in August?


The original goal was to have permanent diversity leadership in place by the beginning of the fall 2017 semester, as interim leadership has been in place for more than 18 months. It became clear in May that a delay in our hiring timeline was necessary to allow for broader consultation with campus. After listening to the feedback and revising the proposed structure, we need to move forward.

Establishing the structure now will allow us to form search committees in July and begin national searches in August when students and faculty return to campus.