Monday, January 25, 2016

EVC: Diversity Award Nominations due 2/7; Climate Study underway

University Broadcast message from EVC Doug Girod sent January 7, 2016


Subject:  EVC Diversity Award and other diversity updates

Dear colleagues:

This month, the EVC Diversity and Inclusion Cabinet at KU Medical Center will celebrate its one-year anniversary. I am so proud of what the cabinet has accomplished in its first year.  I can attest to the many hours the members have devoted to working on our 2015 action items that promote diversity and inclusion and strive to reduce intolerance and all forms of discrimination on our campuses.
One of the recommendations made  by the strategic planning committee was to resurrect  the EVC Diversity and Inclusion Award as a way to spotlight and honor the good work that is already taking place to make KU Medical Center a more culturally diverse and inclusive community. This award will recognize significant achievements of faculty, staff, departments and organizations in their efforts to develop and enhance a more culturally diverse, competent and inclusive campus. Nominations for this year’s award will be accepted through Feb. 7. The winner(s) will be given a $1,000 honorarium and receive the award at a presentation on March 30. More information can be found on the Diversity and Inclusion website.

I also want to share a brief update on future plans involving a climate study in partnership with the KU-Lawrence campus. The University of Kansas is committed to an open, diverse and inclusive learning and working environment that nurtures the growth and development of all. KU holds steadfast in the belief that an array of values, interests, experiences, and intellectual and cultural viewpoints enrich learning and our workplace.

Plans for a KU Climate Study to assess our learning, living and working environments began early last year. The first phase will begin in February when our consultant, Rankin & Associates, in conjunction with the EVC office and the KU Offices of Diversity and Equity and Human Resource Management, will lead us through several focus group conversations. Feedback from these small group discussions will help shape questions for a system-wide survey for all people on our many campuses.   

These conversations and, ultimately, the survey responses will provide our campuses with deep data on the experiences of students, faculty, and staff at KU — both an overall view, as well as a look at what happens to marginalized communities.  The study will require time to adequately focus on each phase, but it will deliver detailed information that will allow us to target areas that require change and make long-lasting improvements. When you are asked to participate in any phase of the climate study, I encourage you to make the time.

I am confident that we are moving in the right direction to make meaningful change. More information and updates, along with the climate study steps and timeline, will be provided to the campus on an ongoing basis. In the meantime, if you have questions about the EVC Diversity Award, KU Climate Study or other diversity initiatives, please contact Jen Keeton.

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