Faculty and staff at the University of Kansas are protesting a reorganization of its diversity office

Lawrence, KS – According to the statement, the faculty and staff are protesting a reorganization of its diversity office that cost two employees their jobs. They’ve also said that these changes were made without consulting the marginalized communities affected.

The changes for what had been the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion were announced earlier this month by Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer.

According to the statement, the vice provost for diversity and equity has been assigned to another job, six programs reporting to her will be reassigned to other departments, and the jobs of two employees who developed and led social justice training were eliminated.

The university will create two new associate vice provost positions, and the office is now the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. University spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson wrote in an email that Girod and Bichelmeyer listened to hundreds of people about how to improve diversity and inclusion efforts.

But about 60 department chairs, numerous faculty staff councils and a graduate teaching assistants union, signed letters to the two administrators last week, asking them to reverse or reconsider the changes. Among other things, they said, an advisory council on diversity set up this summer was not consulted.