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K-State Today

July 8, 2020

Faculty Senate solidarity statement

Submitted by Faculty Senate

Black lives matter. George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Layleen Polanco. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. The killings of these Black Americans — and many others — have ignited mass protests across the country and demonstrate the longstanding fact of anti-Black violence in the United States. The Kansas State University Faculty Senate acknowledges the systemic racial violence in our country and our state.

While acknowledging the disturbing and longstanding presence of white supremacy in Kansas, we must build on our state's legacy of abolitionism in order to live up to the promise of Kansas as a free state. We stand against racial violence and we stand against white supremacy, including in our K-State culture. 

We thank the K-State Black Student Union for its leadership, and in particular for drawing sustained attention to racism on our campus, most recently through the powerful #blackatkstate Twitter demonstration. In addition, K-State student-athletes have declared solidarity, protesting white supremacist ideals articulated by several students on campus. Now is the time to embrace a bold vision of the type of community our campus can become and to implement meaningful policy changes that will allow us to realize that vision.  

It is the duty of faculty and staff at K-State to nurture the minds of our students. To fulfill this duty, we must speak out against the active or passive perpetuation of racism on campus. In solidarity with anti-racist action at K-State campuses and communities, Faculty Senate makes the following commitments: 

  • We will form a Social Justice and Racial Equity ad hoc advisory committee to establish consistent and sustained action plans for the Faculty Senate. 
  • We will develop a mandatory syllabus statement on classroom conduct. 
  • We will review and advocate for revisions of the PPM 3010 Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Violence, Domestic and Dating Violence, and Stalking. 
  • We will review and advocate for revisions of the PPM 3010 Procedure for Reviewing Complaints. 
  • We will review and revise promotion and tenure, and grievance processes in light of best practices for diversity and inclusion.
  • We will review the K-State 8 Human Diversity within the U.S. requirement to ensure that anti-racism is addressed in all courses satisfying that requirement. 
  • We will protect free speech and civil discourse on campus. Students are expected to adhere to the student code of conduct. In addition, faculty, students and staff should be guided by our principles of community.
  • We will review and revise policies governing student organizations to ensure that all recognized student organizations contribute to campus culture in a way that's consistent with our Principles of Community.
  • We will work with other units on campus to develop anti-racism training for faculty and staff. 

We are at a pivotal moment in our university's history, and Faculty Senate is committed to working with units across K-State, including our partners in shared governance; Bryan Samuel, chief diversity and inclusion officer; the Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs Office; and Faculty Staff Affinity Groups to bring about long-overdue changes.   

In solidarity, 

Kansas State University Faculty Senate