Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) Plan

Diversity Statement

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

• Recognize that diversity in the SOM’s students, staff and faculty, 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 race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, disability status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, first-generation status, socio-economic status, citizenship status, national origin, caregiver status, veteran status, or other protected statuses.

• 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. 


(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: https://guides.lib.ku.edu/socialjustice. 

The following plan contains target goals and recommendations for implementation in the KU SOM. For each Goal, the SOM DEIB Committee suggests action steps and assessment tools for tracking progress and will continue to develop strategies for meeting current goals and creating new ones as dictated by the needs of the KU SOM Community. Each of the following goals aligns with the three goals outlined in Jayhawks Rising, namely Student Success, Healthy and Vibrant Communities, and Research and Discovery.  This plan also aligns with the School of Music’s Core Foundations of Intersectional Excellence/Inclusive Excellence, Internationalization, Community Engagement, and our Core Values which are Community, Excellence, Sustainability, Access, Collaboration, and Innovation as outlined in the SOM Strategic Plan.

Diversity Goals

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

The SOM website contains links to the Multicultural Scholars Program, Diversity Fellows Program, DEIB Student Organizations & Opportunities, Trio McNair Program, DEIB Resources on campus and KU Resources for Students.  

  • Updated in Fall of 2022 and ongoing
  • Lead/monitor and Assessment: Communications office will monitor number of times resources are accessed on the website.

The SOM website includes a feedback form that provides a clear, safe mechanism for all students, faculty, and staff to report incidents of bias, discrimination, or harassment.   

  • Created Fall of 2022 and ongoing
  • Lead/monitor and Assessment: AD for SOM DEIB and DEIB committee will record number of reports submitted.

The SOM website contains consistent, up-to-date, inclusive language with respect to all protected statuses for all students, staff, faculty, regarding syllabi, rehearsals, performances, searches, etc.  

  • Updated Fall of 2022 and ongoing
  • Assessment Tool: Number of reports of non-inclusive language 
  • Lead/monitor: AD for SOM DEIB and DEIB Committee 


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

ADA Compliance in Murphy Hall 

  • Create signage at all accessible entrances showing elevator location.
  • Add an additional automatic opener in the stairwell by the second-floor entrance so individuals with disabilities have access to any point in Murphy from this entrance. 
  • Post a map of the building marked with accessible pathways, elevators, accessible entrances, and accessible bathrooms at all entrances and on SOM website.
  • Lead/monitor: AD for SOM DEIB, DEIB Committee & Dean’s Office

Gender Inclusive Restroom in Murphy Hall

  • To be completed in summer of 2023 
  • Lead/monitor: AD for SOM DEIB, DEIB Committee & Dean’s Office 

Course titles and description, e.g., Men’s Glee, Women’s Chorale, etc. 

  • As of Fall 2021, all course titles are gender inclusive.
  • Lead/monitor: AD for SOM DEIB, DEIB Committee & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Office 

Concert attire

  • As of Fall 2021, Concert attire is gender inclusive for all ensembles (except Concert Choir). Diversifying dress code options is ongoing. 
  • Assessment Tool: Change in concert attire. 
  • Lead/monitor: Ensemble directors 


Action Step 1.3: School of Music faculty and staff participate in diversity and intercultural awareness training. 

Participate in university-level training sessions on DEIB topics. 

  • SOM faculty have participated in Safe Zone Training, Title IX Informational Session, and Implicit Bias Training 
  • Organize viewings of International Center for Institutional Diversity videos each semester.
  • Promote online trainings offered both through KU and outside of KU for SOM Community
  • Assessment Tool: Number of participants 
  • Lead/monitor: Vice Provost for Diversity, AD for SOM DEIB, Office of the Dean

Action Step 2.1: Increase the visibility of multicultural students and events on SOM website and promotional materials and publications using gender inclusive language.

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.) 

  • Serenade magazine is focused on diversity. 
  • Gender inclusive language is required on all KU webpages including SOM  
  • All images on the SOM website and in promotional materials should be contextualized.  
  • Encouraging faculty to include pronouns in faculty profiles. 
  • Assessment Tool: Review of publications and promotional materials 
  • Lead/monitor: AD for SOM DEIB, DEIB Committee and Communications Coordinator 

Create a School Diversity Student Organization (student organizations registered with Rock Chalk Central) that can help with outreach, recruitment and DEIB activities. 

  • KU Music Diversity Fellows Program established in Fall 2022 to facilitate the formation of a student organization.  
  • Assessment Tool: Review of organization 
  • Lead/monitor: KU Music Diversity Fellows Program

Increase efforts to bring faculty and students from underserved schools to campus visits and activities. 

  • Investigating avenues for implementation 
  • Assessment Tool: Recruitment data, number of participants 
  • Lead/monitor: Recruitment Office/AD for SOM DEIB 

Increase faculty, staff and faculty visits and activities in underserved schools, especially in KCK and Topeka. These visits could include the School Diversity Student Organization and Recruitment Office to facilitate student involvement and the distribution of recruitment materials. 

  • Faculty have visited Schlagle, Harmon, Sumner, Washington and Wyandotte High Schools in Kansas City, KS  
  • Working on ways to increase and assess student concert attendance
  • Recruitment Office visits include attendance at KU Leadership Symposiums (Native American, LatinX, Asian American, LGTBQIA+, First Gen and Black Leadership,) KCK Public Schools College Fair, Wichita Future Fair, Rock Chalk Kansas City (in KCMO,) and Hispanic Day at the KU Union
  • Assessment Tool: Recruitment data 
  • Lead/monitor: Recruitment office and AD for SOM DEIB 

JAMM (Jayhawks as Music Mentors) is a new initiative still in the planning stages that will provide mentorship and college preparation advice to students in area high schools. 

  • Assessment Tool: Number of students in program 
  • Lead/monitor: Recruitment Office and AD for SOM DEIB 

Provide free concert tickets to major ensemble performances to high school students. 

  • Free concert tickets are now available to major ensemble performances to high school students. 
  • Assessment Tool: Number of students who attend concerts
  • Lead/monitor: Recruitment office and ensemble directors 



Action Step 2.2: Recruit and retain students of diverse backgrounds. 

Explore the feasibility of developing and implementing a peer mentorship program.  

  • Assessment Tool: Retention data 
  • Lead/monitor: Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Advisory Council  

Create an award to recognize student involvement in advancing the diversity and equity goals of the School of Music 

  • Lead/monitor:AD for SOM DEIB and DEIB Committee  

Spotlight on Diversity work displayed prominently in Murphy Hall and included in SOM DEIB Fall/Spring Semester Newsletter 

  • Lead/monitor: AD for SOM DEIB and DEIB committee 

Encourage students to take advantage of the Supplemental Instruction Program (SI) for free tutoring in Music Theory. SI will be available for additional courses in coming semesters.

  • Announcement in Rec 100 and Theory I&II 
  • Assessment Tool: Number of Participants 
  • Lead/monitor: First-year Theory Coordinator

Build partnerships or intercultural exchange programs with other universities nationally and internationally.

  • New position of Associate Dean for Global Engagement and Special Performance Projects created to enhance internationalization
  • Develop exchange programs with international conservatories and schools of music.
  • Explore the possibility of developing virtual cultural exchange programs.
  • Explore funding opportunities for students to participate in international programs.
  • Lead/monitor: Recruitment Office and Grad Studies Office
  • Assessment Tool: Number of Participants 


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

Encourage academic faculty and GTAs to diversify class content and course offerings (e.g. include multicultural aspects into lectures, class readings, rehearsals, concerts, and syllabi). SOM now offers the courses Music in World Culture (a survey of music in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, East Asia, and Latin America), Music of Latin America (history, culture, music), Music of East Asia (history, culture, music), Exploration of Hip-Hop & Intersections of American Culture, Drumming Cultures of the World, History of Rock and Roll, Survey of Jazz, Music Videos and Music, and the ensembles KU West African Drum Ensemble, African Drum Ensemble, Steel Drum Ensemble, and Certificate Programs.   

  • Assessment Tool: Brief written statement from faculty members that describes inclusiveness in content of academic classes, repertoire, and ensembles.
  • Lead/monitor: AD for SOM DEIB and DEIB committee 


Action Step 2.4: Increase multicultural diversity and inclusiveness of invited and sponsored performances, lectures, master classes, workshops, clinics, and festivals  
Work with students, staff, and faculty to invite more diverse guest artists and lecturers.

Encourage seeking funding through KU DEIB for DEIB events. Invited guests from 2021-23: Frances Colon, Camille Thurmon, Candice Hoyes, Anthony Bolden, Joyce McCall, Emilio Solla, Tiempo Libre, Amir ElSaffar, Yun Wei, Ensemble Iberica, Chen Yi, Interwoven Ensemble, Bolokada Conde, Aquim Sacramento, etc. 

  • DEIB Committee will organize events each academic year.
  • Assessment Tool: Existence of diverse events 
  • Lead/monitor: AD for SOM DEIB and DEIB committee 

Promote 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, Eurasian Studies, African and American Studies, etc.) 

  • Create central calendar of multicultural events across campus.
  • Assessment tool: Attendance at recitals and lectures, syllabi 
  • Lead/monitor: AD for SOM DEIB and DEIB Committee, Events Coordinator

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

  • HR monitors faculty searches
  • Search committees include a DEI Advisor to oversee job postings and the acquisition of a diverse applicant pool. 
  • Send job postings to peer institutions in more diverse regions, as well as HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges) 
  • Assessment Tool: Applicant data 
  • Lead/monitor: Office of the Dean and Human Resources   


Action Step 3.2: Commit to training, support, professional development, and recognition of faculty and staff. 

• Devote at least one faculty/staff meeting per semester to diversity training 
• Nominate one faculty or staff annually for DEIB award

• Implement exit interviews when faculty and staff accept new positions or retire 

  • Assessment Tool: Number of participants 
  • Lead/monitor: Office of the Dean 

    Action Step 4.1: Provide easily accessible resources for students, staff, and faculty.

    • Implemented in Fall 2023 and ongoing.
    • Post Mental Health resources available on campus on SOM website and flyers around Murphy.
    • Continue to host and promote CAPS Peer Listening Hours in Murphy.
    • Make SOM Community aware of offerings at Watkins such as Stress Busting Study Breaks.
    • Assessment Tool: Number of participants
    • Lead/monitor: AD for SOM DEIB, DEIB Committee and Communications Coordinator