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K-State Today

February 23, 2017



Multicultural Center planning group appointed

By Provost and Senior Vice President April Mason and Vice President Pat Bosco

Last fall in a letter to campus, President Myers wrote about the university's commitment to create a multicultural center that advances student success, diversity, inclusion and social justice at Kansas State University. He also shared our commitment to broadly include students, faculty, staff and alumni in the planning process. The president asked us, Greg Willems, president and CEO of the KSU Foundation, and Zelia Wiley, interim associate provost for diversity, to serve as a senior leadership team working with student leaders and others to advance further planning for the center.

As the next step, we have established a Multicultural Center planning group including students, faculty, staff and administrators to work with us. The charge to the planning group is to recommend a vision, purpose statement and plan that could be used by the KSU Foundation for a feasibility study and case statement development. The group also is charged to honor the work completed previously, using it as a starting point for further planning. The planning group will:

  • review the original conceptual work, gather information, and review similar models at peer institutions,
  • address the questions raised by donors and others related to the use, outcomes, budget and staff for the center,
  • invite broad participation of stakeholders across the university – student organizations, faculty groups, department, units, any group that wishes to participate – to address key planning questions,
  • engage individual donors, corporate diversity and inclusion experts and others to bring additional perspectives to the effort, and
  • based on the feedback received, complete recommendations in May 2017.

Results of this work will be used to garner support and will be essential to securing the resources necessary to achieve the vision. Members of the planning group will become ambassadors for the project, engaging with donors.

The Multicultural Center planning group members are:

  • Kimathi Choma, co-chair, assistant dean for diversity, recruitment, and retention, College of Arts and Sciences 
  • Mary Tolar, co-chair, director, Staley School of Leadership Studies 
  • Student co-chair — to be selected by the student members of the planning group 
  • Mary Abounabhan, senior in management, Diversity 2025 representative
  • Bryan Davis, junior in management information systems, Black Student Union representative
  • Shakyra Everett, senior in agricultural communications and journalism, and director, SGA Multicultural Affairs 
  • Jackie Huynh, senior in hospitality management; Asian American Student Union representative 
  • Hector Martinez, master's student in architecture; Hispanic American Leadership Organization representative
  • Holly Nelson, senior in anthropology, Diversity 2025 representative
  • Shelbey Taylor, junior in animal sciences and industry, Native America Student Union representative
  • Jessica Elmore, associate director of diversity programs, K-State Alumni Association 
  • Bernard Franklin, assistant vice president for student life
  • Lori Goetsch, dean, K-State Libraries
  • Muenfua Lewis, alumnus
  • Madai Rivera, academic and diversity coordinator, College of Human Ecology
  • Be Stoney, associate professor of curriculum and instruction
  • Lisa Tatonetti, professor of English
  • LaBarbara Wigfall, associate professor of landscape architecture and regional & community planning 
  • John Morris, senior vice president, KSU Foundation, ex officio

When required, the three co-chairs will serve as an executive group with the senior leadership team. The planning group will be supported by Sandra Brase, Office of the Provost, and Ellen DeBord, Division of Communications and Marketing, as requested.

We thank all the members for their willingness to serve on the planning group this spring. The dialogue that will be part of their work is important to the K-State family as we continue to work together to make our university a better place for all.

April Mason, provost and senior vice president 
Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students