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The Voice That Matters is Yours

October 3, 2016

Est. reading time: 2 min., 24 sec.

Dear students, staff, and faculty:

The political refrain emerges every election season: “Every vote matters.”  This fall, I am adding a Jayhawk-centered twist to this call for public engagement and participation — Every voice matters.

Rock Chalk. Real Talk.

If you have not already done so, please take the KU Climate Study survey, which closes Oct. 14, to help us understand the living, learning, and working environment that this institution offers students, staff, and faculty.  The study is the barometer of where KU is and where we can do better.  Each of you has personal experiences and information that will make the difference.  Your voice helps us find areas that need improvement and chart a path that benefits us all.  The survey is easy and confidential.  The climate study consultant, Rankin & Associates, is one of the leading experts in this field, and has measures in place that protect respondents and encourage open and honest replies.

Come together as champions

Last month, we witnessed hundreds of students, staff, faculty, and administrators engage in a silent protest on Wescoe Beach in support of Black Lives Matter and Trans Lives Matter.  The stillness of their actions boldly roared across this campus.  I, personally, found it to be a moving experience and message, and it confirmed we still have work to do.

Earlier this semester, I confessed my epiphany that my KU experience — the KU I know and love — isn’t universally positive for all Jayhawks.  That said, I remain committed to working in partnership with Chancellor Gray-Little and each of you to make institutional changes that move us closer to our shared goal of a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive KU.

Co-create your KU experience

Learning is a dynamic endeavor in which we are the co-creators of our experience.  Being informed of a variety of viewpoints — even those we may not agree with — is among the most important responsibilities each of us shares in our democracy.  Stop, ask questions, seek answers, discover something new, and embrace discomfort.  Many of you will turn to classmates, colleagues, and the internet.  KU Libraries also offer incredible curated resources waiting to be explored.  That’s a great start.  Acknowledge that the extent of your inquiry can be even greater.  Count me among your biggest fans as you challenge yourself to be more. 

Students, staff, and faculty have long shown their power to transform this institution.  Whether by raising consciousness around specific issues, securing funding from our State and our alumni, building new structures on our campuses, or developing a business that fuels our growth, our community has historically helped shape the narrative of who we are and who we wish to become.

Will the new KU narrative be great?  The defining power is in your hands.  Take the campus climate survey and be the champion.

 


 

News & Notes

Congratulations to KU’s newest Staff Fellows. Twelve unclassified and university support staff members from the Lawrence and Edwards Campus are taking part in this yearlong leadership program and will work on shaping a diversity education program for KU staff.

Watkins Health Services will host flu shot clinics across campus during October.  Watkins is a State Employee Health Plan network provider and members will have shots covered in full.

October is Disability Awareness Month. Accessible KU offers several new video and audio tracks to help individuals find accessible routes between Sunnyside Dr. and Jayhawk Boulevard. The HawkRoute resources offer turn-by-turn directions that conquer physical barriers on the KU campus.

The application deadline for the faculty Diversity Scholars Program is October 7.  Interested faculty can apply for the Center for Teaching Excellence Program, which provides a $3,000 stipend funded through the Office of Faculty Development and the Office of Academic Affairs. Please contact Professor Marta Caminero-Santangelo with questions.

The last Kansas HealthQuest biometric screenings for staff and faculty take place this week. The free screenings provide a variety of health metrics and also count toward points needed to earn an insurance premium discount.

KU Edwards Campus now offers high-demand courses in Leavenworth, Kan., that complement military professions. Students are able to pursue undergraduate and graduate coursework that will integrate both military and civilian students, fostering rich learning opportunities and a dynamic educational environment.

The Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity has a number of upcoming events and activities to recognize OUTober. Visit the Facebook page to learn more.

Undergraduate students interested in applying for Spring Undergraduate Research Awards of $1,000 can learn more about the awards and proposal writing at upcoming events held by the Center for Undergraduate Research.  The next information session is from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the Parlors of the Kansas Union. Deadline to apply for UGRA is Nov. 3.

Human Resource Management wants faculty and staff to know their office can be the fuel that helps keep people operating smoothly.  People Fuel, the new campaign developed by HRM and student in the Agency, features coffee events as well as videos of HRM staff highlighting what they do and can do for KU employees.

Graduate students, faculty and staff are invited to the Disability Studies Seminar at the Hall Center for the Humanities, which features performer, author, and activist Leroy Moore. The seminar-performance “From the Streets to Inside the Walls of Academia: Blues, Hip-Hop, Activism, Police Brutality and The Creation of Black Disability Studies” will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 20 in the Hall Center Auditorium.

Fall Break is almost upon us. For those of you who have plans to be away, travel safely.

Strong Ties Signature: 

Rock Chalk,
Neeli

--
Neeli Bendapudi

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Follow me on Twitter at @KUProvostNeeli and the Provost Office at @KUProvost

This issue of Strong Ties as well as past ones can be found on the Provost eNews web page.

Office of the Provost
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Several initiatives are furthering efforts to ensure KU offers a welcoming and supportive environment for all to learn, live, work, and discover.

RT @ fellowshipsKU : #TBT to when Chancellor BGL surprised @ KUnews @ TrumanApp Scholar #19 Taylor Zabel. See him today @ 4 in Summerfield! htt…


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