Straight talk: Why is K-State making such an effort toward diversity and inclusion on campus?
Diversity is one of the eight common elements that underlie the K-State 2025 vision and goals, which is to be an outstanding model of diversity and inclusion excellence among top 50 public research universities. Diversity is the comparative analysis, different perspectives and richness that each individual at K-State brings to make students and the university stronger.
K-State has many diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the KSUnite movement. Established in November 2017 and celebrated for a second year this October, KSUnite encourages individuals to explore how to develop an inclusive community, have meaningful conversations and respond to healthy discussion.
“K-State is an institution that values and champions the contributions, interests and narratives of diverse cultural and social groups,” said Bryan Samuel, chief diversity and inclusion officer. “We understand and appreciate the importance of professional and career development that ensures inclusion, engagement and empowerment of all members.”
How philanthropy supports diversity and inclusion:
- Scholarships based on need, merit or talent help to increase educational access for students from all backgrounds — especially first-generation and low-income college students.
- Programs for multicultural students, such as Project IMPACT, McNair Scholars and Developing Scholars, provide support services for students and diversity programs, and events for the entire university community.
- Education abroad scholarships, so students are able to gain international experience either through a class trip or a semester studying abroad. In the 2016-17 academic year, 882 students had an education abroad experience.
- Student organizations allow students to come together around commonalities, interests and causes, as well as allowing students to learn from and with others whose backgrounds may be different from their own.
“The first thing employers talk to me about is study abroad. It helps set me apart from other students. When you get immersed in the culture, you have to fend for yourself a little bit. I gained a lot of independence doing that. I’m grateful for the generosity of the K-State family in helping make that possible for me.” – Reagan Kays ’15 graduate in agricultural economics
Points of pride
- In fiscal year 2018, K-Staters from underrepresented groups earned 685 degrees—the highest number in K-State history.*
- K-State received the 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for its fifth consecutive year.
- Kansas State Black Student Union has been named the Big 12 Outstanding Black Student Union for 10 of the past 13 years.
- For the second year in a row, Campus Pride listed K-State in its 30 Best of the Best LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities with its highest ranking.
- In the 2016-17 academic year, K-State international students contributed $61.8 million to the local economy.**
*KSU Office of Institutional Effectiveness
**NAFSA: Association of International Educators