From the Provost's Desk

March 26, 2014

Recent months have been very exciting ones for diversity and multicultural affairs on our campus. Let me recap some of the things happening here. The President’s Commission on Multicultural Affairs, or PCMA, met in a retreat to fine tune a draft K-State 2025 Diversity plan for the common element of Diversity, which is ready now for public comment on our K-State 2025 website. We celebrated the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. with numerous impactful events, including the showing of a video highlighting the lives and achievements of four Kansas State University current and former administrators - the stories of these leaders were both inspirational and challenging.

A million dollar gift was given to the university to support a Multicultural Student Center and the College of Architecture, Planning and Design worked with our student chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects to conduct a Multicultural Enrichment charrette to produce potential designs for that Multicultural Student Center. If you want to see incredible creativity, just ask student groups to talk to and listen to the dreams of our multicultural students, staff and faulty related to a physical space. I was so impressed with the four teams who took concepts and designed a space in only a weekend. I want to thank all who were involved in these many campus events.

We are an increasingly diverse university in so many ways with record enrollment of diverse students once again this spring. I am proud we celebrate that diversity, continue to build on that diversity with recruitment of diverse students, staff and faculty, and respect and learn from that diversity.

While we have made much progress in the area of diversity during the past decade, there is much more work to be done. The K-State 2025 Strategic Plan has eight common elements that underlie our K-State 2025 vision and goals. Diversity is not only one of those common elements but also a value we embrace as an institution. It is core to our mission and embedded in our principles of community. President Schulz and I are very pleased to release today the draft of the K-State 2025 Strategic Plan for Diversity for public comment.

Under the leadership of Associate Provost Myra Gordon, the President’s Commission of Multicultural Affairs and the Diversity Point Persons have worked for over a year to prepare this draft plan. They were asked to recommend a university diversity plan with directional goals, key outcomes, and suggested activities aligned with the K-State 2025 visionary plan. The plan builds on the work of two previous five year diversity strategic plans and represents input from staff, faculty, students at meetings and facilitated retreats. I want to convey our sincere thanks to all who contributed to this initial draft.

Hearing from the K-State community is important for all our strategic action plans. Members of the PCMA acknowledge that because this plan builds from the ten goals included in the original diversity strategic plans with a focus on multicultural diversity, there may be areas in need of expansion as we build the diverse and inclusive environment envisioned by K-State 2025. We encourage you to read the draft plan and provide your feedback. We want and need your input on this common element plan.

Online comments will be collected through April 25, 2014 and the plan will be finalized later in the spring. Thank you for your continued work and support to chart our path to 2025 and advance the K-State 2025 vision!

   April Mason