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K-State Today

October 26, 2020

Faculty Senate Leadership Council supports efforts of organizers and presenters of diversity, equity and inclusion activities

Submitted by Faculty Senate

The Faculty Senate Leadership Council supports the efforts of the organizers and presenters of diversity, equity and inclusion activities like the 2020 HALO Encuentro, Indigenous Peoples' Day and KSUnite for providing opportunities to learn about the ethnic and cultural variety in the U.S. and to continue our university mission to extend knowledge and learning to our communities, both on our campuses and across the state of Kansas. 

We know that the disruptions to KSUnite on Oct. 13 continue to have repercussions on the programming the university offers moving forward. The engagement with scholars and events that have been held, and will be held in the near future, have been significantly limited in order to ensure a safe space for speakers and viewers of these events. 

The KSUnite disruptions brought pain and frustration to faculty, staff and students on our K-State campuses and to those who were streaming the events. Human Capital Services shared mental health resources for individuals or groups up to 20 that you can access Oct. 29 or at another time that is convenient for you. But we also know that many of you are wondering what is being done at a more structural level at the university. 

Several actions and activities have been ongoing since the summer months of 2020. The President's Action Plan for a more Inclusive K-State provides various action steps that have been moving forward this semester: 

Student Ombudsperson Office 

Student Code of Conduct review and revision 

Need-based Scholarships 

Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Framework 

Review and Revise Procedures for Reporting 

Review of Faculty / Staff Hiring and Retention policies and procedures 

Multicultural Overlay Initiative 

Cultural Competency Workshops 

A list of leaders and point people for these groups is listed on the Action Plan website. 

In addition to these action items, and given the climate nationally around diversity, equity and inclusion, our Office of General Counsel is working on FAQs to clarify the effects of executive orders and national policy adjustments. The Title IX policy adjustment questions were provided in August and groups are working on further review of how to improve our procedures locally. In addition, we will soon see guidance for the executive orders for international students, diversity education and programming, etc.  

If you have concerns or ideas for any of these work groups that are already in process, please contact the point people listed in the Action Plan for a more Inclusive K-State, our Office of General Counsel, or a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.   

We know that in addition to the COVID-19 stress we have faced throughout this semester, we also face heightened financial stress, and the tensions of the political moment and the climate on our campuses, in our communities and nationally. It is a lot to handle right now. But please know that students, faculty, staff and administrators have come together to work on these issues.  

Our commitment to a more inclusive K-State is long term and one that many of us have been engaged in throughout our careers at this university. As we recommit to this sustained effort, let's hold to our central commitments to educational excellence for everyone.