Thursday, November 12, 2015

EVC Message on Developing a Respectful, Inclusive Campus Community

Executive Vice Chancellor Doug Girod sent the following message to the KUMC community on Tuesday, November 10, 2015:

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

The events that have taken place over the last several months at the University of Missouri-Columbia underscore the need for ongoing dialogue and action around the subjects of race relations, respect and diversity in the academic environment and in everyday life.

A university is an enclave of visionaries, thinkers and learners. Regardless of the color of our skin, the site of our origins, our gender or sexual orientation, the respect we offer each other every day demonstrates a core concept of higher education that we must hold dear.

As I have shared before, we launched a Diversity & Inclusion Cabinet in January 2015 to help us build and support a diverse, inclusive and interprofessional environment that optimizes our ability to meet our missions. This cabinet is comprised of individuals from across our campus, including representatives from Wichita and Salina, our student body and The University of Kansas Hospital.

As chair of this cabinet, I have a personal interest in making sure we do more than just discuss issues. We are developing an actionable plan to ensure KU Medical Center is an inclusive environment for all. For example, we are reviewing policies and practices, as well as developing training, to specifically address unconscious bias that may exist at KU Medical Center.

The cabinet and sub-committee meetings are open to the entire campus community. If you have ideas on how to increase diversity and inclusion on our campus, I encourage you to attend a meeting and share your perspective. Visit the Diversity & Inclusion website to learn how you can become involved.

In addition, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will serve as a moderator for a University of Kansas town hall meeting on the topics of race, respect, responsibility and the freedom of speech at 4 p.m. tomorrow in the Kansas Union Ballroom on the Lawrence campus. The meeting is designed to be an open conversation among students, faculty and staff.

Positive change does not occur in a vacuum. It takes highly motivated individuals who are willing to share ideas and collaborate to make a difference. I want to express my sincere appreciation for those who are already contributing and invite others to consider becoming a part of these ongoing efforts.

Douglas A. Girod, M.D., FACS
Executive Vice Chancellor
University of Kansas Medical Center