New Learning Module Takes Us Beyond Best Intentions

Jennifer Hamer Vice Provost for Diversity & Equity
Thursday, April 11, 2019, 9:45 a.m.
KU Lawrence All Staff Faculty and Affiliates

Update: Some users have reported challenges accessing the learning module. Another option is to click this link and add the module to your learning schedule. Apologies for the inconvenience.



Faculty and staff,

Today, the University of Kansas is launching the online module Diversity Foundations to build our ability to excel as an institution that upholds diversity, equity, and inclusion and better competes as a destination for students, faculty and staff. This is a critical step for KU, and similar to our Harassment/Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct/Violence Reporting Obligations module, all faculty and staff should complete this professional development module for their own personal awareness as well as the interest of our students and colleagues. Please finish this module by May 15.

Why It is Important

Today, relative to the past, students expect faculty and staff to be more aware of their social identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexuality, and disabilities. They also expect that faculty, staff, and administrators be better prepared to work with them regardless of their backgrounds. The capacity to do this well is referred to as “cultural competency” and, unfortunately, this form of competency is not something that most of us had an opportunity learn prior to joining the faculty or staff here at KU. Of course, we have the best of intentions and do our best to support the success of students and colleagues. Yet, many of us struggle to know what to say, what to do, and how to engage with a diverse group of others.

Incidents of bias negatively affect the experiences of students and colleagues in learning and professional work spaces. We anticipate this module will help us eliminate incidents resulting from lack of awareness and offer tools and resources that help faculty and staff better respond to incidents of malicious intent. Diversity Edu’s Diversity Foundations is our first step to provide KU employees with a baseline, shared knowledge on diversity and inclusion and a foundation for related expectations.

How to Complete It

The training has been loaded for you into the MyTalent system. (Look for the course titled, “Diversity Foundations” under Learning.) It should only take a little more than an hour to complete. We look forward to your participation and your comments, the latter of which will be used to improve the learning tool. Supplemental information will be provided at later date for those interested in building upon their foundational understanding and skills in this important topic.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Diversity & Equity at

Jennifer Hamer
Vice Provost for Diversity & Equity

Carl Lejuez
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor