School of Music Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) 

Diversity Statement

The School of Music (“School”) at the University of Kansas is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for its students, faculty, and staff. As such the School pledges to:

  • Recognize that diversity in the School’s faculty and staff, classrooms, ensembles, studios, and organizations is critical to maintaining academic and artistic excellence.
  • Provide an equitable and safe environment that embraces and respects all people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, disability status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, first-generation status, socio-economic status, citizenship status, national origin, and veteran status.
  • Acknowledge that sustained dedication to these values is only possible through:
  • ongoing professional and personal development in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and social justice[1].
  • the development of policies that encourage the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students from diverse backgrounds.


DEIB Committee in the School of Music (formerly known as the IDEA Committee)

Associate Dean for DEIB: Dr. Margaret Marco (appointed fall 2021)

2021-2022 DEIB Committee Members: Stacy Ash, Dr. Hannah Collins, Dr. Julius KyakuwaAnna Paradis, Elaine Huang, and Madison Ehlert

Membership is appointed by the Associate Dean of DEIB. Appointed members serve for a term of two years. The committee will oversee and discuss all relevant DEIB initiatives and matters related to the action plan within the School of Music. The school recognizes that diversity is an evolving concept, which involves a variety of identities, perspectives, experiences, and actions. As such, we are committed to broadening our views and practices as they become vital to the mission of our School. Please contact us to provide feedback or get involved...

Contact DEIB Committee


Diversity Goals

Goal 1: Develop and support policies, protocols, and practices that lead to an inclusive and equitable environment for all.

Action Steps: Action steps are measurable in order to assess the implementation of the diversity plan:

Action Step 1.1: Make existing resource information relevant to DEI issues available on the School of Music website:

  • Development of a resource guide of available services on campus.
  • Establish a clear, safe, and no-consequence mechanism within the School for all students, faculty, and staff to report incidents of bias, discrimination, or harassment.
  • Require the use of consistent, up-to-date, inclusive language with respect to race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and so forth, for all students, faculty, and staff; e.g., syllabi, rehearsals, performances, searches, etc.

Action Step 1.2: Increase inclusiveness in the School of Music by researching and proposing the following gender-inclusivity issues:

  • Gender-inclusive restroom in Murphy Hall.
  • Gender-inclusive course titles and descriptions; e.g., Men’s Glee, Women’s Chorale, etc.
  • Changes in concert attire to allow for inclusive gender expression.

Action Step 1.3: School of Music faculty and staff participate in diversity and cultural competency training:

  • Participate in university-level training sessions on DEI topics.
  • Expand offerings of both voluntary and mandatory cultural competency training for the SOM faculty and staff; e.g., Safe Zone training in Murphy Hall, diversity-specific training at retreats, etc.
  • Develop a more concise and effective annual climate survey to assess how we are doing with our diversity goals.

Goal 2: Recruit and retain a more diverse and representative student body.

Action Step 2.1: Increase the visibility of multicultural students and events in the SOM promotion materials and publications:

  • Require inclusion of multicultural content in the SOM promotion materials and publications (e.g. feature articles on experiences of international, multicultural, and underrepresented students and alumni).
  • Create a SOM Diversity Student Organization (student organization registered with KU) that can help with outreach and recruitment activities.
  • Increase efforts to bring students from underserved schools to campus visits and activities.
  • Increase faculty visits and activities in underserved schools, especially in KCK. These visits could include the SOM Diversity Student Organization and Recruitment Office to facilitate student involvement and the distribution of recruitment materials.
  • Provide a limited number of free concert tickets to major ensemble performances to select schools.

Action Step 2.2: Increase efforts to retain students of diverse backgrounds:

  • Develop and implement a mentorship program using students from SOM Diversity Student Organization as peer mentors/advisors.  
  • Look into scholarship/grant funds available through the Office of Multicultural Affairs, The Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity, and other sources. Make these resources available online.
  • Create an award to recognize student involvement in advancing the diversity and equity goals of the School of Music.
  • Create a direct link for Multicultural Scholars Program on SOM website.

Action Step 2.3: Increase multicultural diversity and inclusiveness in the content of academic classes and solo and ensemble repertoire.

  • Provide training to academic faculty and GTAs about how to diversify class content and course offering (e.g. how to include multicultural aspects into lectures, class readings, rehearsals, concerts, and syllabi).
  • Provide training to performance and ensemble faculty about diverse and multicultural repertoire.
  • Explore the possibility and administration of introducing new popular and world music ensembles, such as Mariachi, Andean, Caribbean, R&B, and Hip Hop music ensembles.

Action Step 2.4: Increase multicultural diversity and inclusiveness of invited and sponsored performances, lectures, master classes, workshops, clinics, and festivals.

  • Develop policies about the requirement of inviting at least a minimum number of multicultural and diverse guest speakers and performers.
  • Look into the possibility of promoting multicultural musical events not sponsored by the School of Music (e.g. performances of non-Western music and musicians at the Lied Center and Kauffman Center, events organized by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Center for East Asian Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, etc.).           

Goal 3: Recruit and retain a more diverse and representative faculty and staff.

Action Step 3.1: Expand job postings to enhance the pool of qualified minority applicants:

  • Send job postings to peer institutions in more diverse regions, as well as HBCUs (historically black colleges).

Action Step 3.2: Establish clear practices and processes for search committees to enhance/align “Hiring for Excellence:”

  • Work with HR to secure mandatory training for everyone serving on search committees.
  • Ask that search committees report on what steps they took to enhance the pool of qualified minority applicants.
  • Ask that search committees report on the rationale for the inclusion or exclusion of minority candidates from the final pool.

Action Step 3.3: Commit to training, support, professional development, and recognition of faculty and staff:

  • Develop a module on diversity to be included in future SOM new employee orientation.
  • Encourage faculty and staff involvement with affinity groups on campus and in the community.
  • Implement exit interviews when faculty and staff accept new positions or retire.
[1] Social justice encompasses diversity (the presence of difference) and multiculturalism (inclusion of a multiplicity of cultures). "The goal of social justice education is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society that is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure."*
*From Adams, M., Bell, L.A., & Griffin, P. (2007). Teaching for diversity & social justice (Second edition). Routledge.
The KU library website provides information and resources for anyone interested in learning about social justice:

IDEA Plan - Full Verison (2020-2021) *an updated strategic plan will be announced in January 2022. 

School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.