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K-State Today

January 15, 2013



University Outstanding Department or Unit Award for Enhancing Diversity

By Gail Zeak

The office of the provost will continue a universitywide award to recognize outstanding efforts of departments or units toward enhancing diversity. Departments or units in any area of the university are eligible for consideration. One department or unit will be recognized each year during the spring semester. A plaque and $2,500 will be provided to the department or unit selected to receive this award.

This is an excellent way to recognize the diversity efforts of your department and units. Please share this information with department and unit heads within your administrative area. We look forward to receiving your nominations.

Purpose: This award has been established by the provost to recognize those departments or units that have made extraordinary achievements to enhance diversity within the department, college and/or the university. Units as defined here may include colleges and administrative units and groups.

Criteria: Any department or unit within the university may demonstrate its achievements in the area of diversity by providing evidence that may include, but not be limited to, one or more of the following:

  • developing innovative programs to enhance diversity within the unit or university,
  • incorporating a clear statement of the importance of diversity in department or unit mission statement,
  • recruiting students, faculty and staff from underrepresented groups,
  • increasing the retention and graduation rates of students from underrepresented groups,
  • providing mentoring/advising for students from underrepresented groups,
  • developing and implementing learning activities that prepare students for a diverse and global society,
  • integrating diversity into the curriculum,
  • supporting research and scholarships in the area of diversity,
  • providing opportunities for professional development for faculty and staff of underrepresented groups, and
  • developing activities that support partnerships with minority-serving institutions, visiting scholars and guest lecturers from underrepresented groups.

Nomination/application process: Any faculty or staff member, department or unit head, dean or administrator may nominate a department or unit. The nomination must include information on how the department has enhanced diversity. The nomination will be forwarded to a screening committee appointed by the provost. Normally, units that have previously received this award will not be eligible for a subsequent award within a three-year period. However, exceptions may be given.

Each nomination packet should include:

  1. a letter of nomination from a faculty, staff, department or unit head, dean, or vice president describing in detail why the nominee is deserving of this award (maximum of three pages),
  2. letters of support (not more than three total) which can come from faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, classified or unclassified staff, administrators, or alumni who work extensively with the department or unit,
  3. a description of the activities within the last calendar year that illustrates the outstanding efforts by the department or unit to enhance diversity (three-page limit).

Please submit all nomination materials electronically in PDF format to Gail Zeak at gaill@k-state.edu. Nominations must be received by Zeak, office of the provost, by 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 1. An advisory committee will make a recommendation to the provost. The award will be presented at the annual Fall Department Heads Retreat.