Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Departmental Culture

Approved: 4/17/2019

The community of scholars that make up the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Kansas believe that our scientific endeavors are strengthened by bringing a broad, diverse perspective to our research, teaching and service missions. We value a diversity of thought in our work as scientists and encourage participation from people with diverse life histories and experiences. We strive to create a community of scientists who all gain by valuing the unique contributions of all individuals.

Specific goals:

  1. Ensuring that all members of the department – faculty, staff and students – as well as visitors are equally welcome, and that they have equitable opportunities to contribute to the department, the University of Kansas and their academic field.
  2. Encouraging the participation of everyone in all aspects of departmental function.
  3. Empowering all participants to make the most of their scientific endeavors.
  4. Ensuring that department members are sensitive to everyone’s diverse needs and circumstances as this will ensure the most productive scientific, academic, and collegial atmosphere.

Our commitment is manifest in the following ways:

  • Recruiting – We strive to recruit students, staff, postdocs and faculty whose diverse backgrounds will enhance the culture and scientific activity of the department.
  • Departmental culture – Our department values diversity and inclusion and partners with programs that enrich our departmental culture such as the Office of Diversity and Equity (for a full list, see below).
  • Outreach – We actively encourage participation in outreach activities at local universities, public schools and community events, which foster relationships that both enhance our scientific progress and facilitate science communication.

Campus resources:

Molecular Biosciences Graduate Student Organization (GSO)
Black Student Union
Hispanic American Leadership Organization
Asian American Student Association
SACNAS
University of Kansas Student Senate
Academic Achievement and Access Center
Counseling and Psychological Services

Office of International Student Affairs - The Office of international Student Affairs provides an experienced immigration advising staff to help answer questions and process paperwork for maintaining legal student immigration status. ISS also provides a wide range of services and programs to help international students adjust to cultural life in Lawrence, Kansas. From a week long orientation program to ongoing programs to academic support for success, is here to help our international students have a rewarding and fulfilling experience while at KU.

Office of Diversity and Equity - The Office of Diversity and Equity is committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion practices and policies in classrooms, residence halls, social spaces, offices, laboratories, and every other place at KU where our students, faculty members, and staff live, work, research, and learn. 

Office for Diversity in Science Training  - The Office for Diversity in Science Training coordinates the management of underrepresented student programs at the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University. 

McNair Scholars Program ­-The McNair Scholars Program assists low-income, first-generation college-going and underrepresented minority undergraduates prepare for doctoral study.

Office of Multicultural Affairs - Our programs and services enhance the retention and persistence of students, while supporting their academic, personal and professional development. Additionally, through purposeful coalitions, we offer diversity and social justice education programs that foster inclusive learning environments for the campus community.

Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity – The University of Kansas Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity (SGD) strives to build an inclusive campus community by providing social justice-based education, resources, programming, and support for students, staff and faculty across the spectrums of gender and sexuality, with an emphasis on intersectional experiences. 

  • SAFE Training – Safe Zone is a 3-hour educational training program hosted by The Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity at KU.
  • oSTEM - Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) is a national society dedicated to educating and fostering leadership for LGBTQA communities in the STEM fields. 

Langston Hughes Visiting Professors  - The Langston Hughes Professorship has not only been a valuable program for bringing prominent ethnic minority scholars to the University for this prestigious appointment, but has also created an opportunity to engage in the campus-wide symposium a variety of topics and issues that otherwise would not be possible. 


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