Second of three candidates interviews for chief diversity officer position


The second of three candidates interviewed for the new position of chief diversity and inclusion officer Wednesday morning.

Every candidate has been given a prompt relating to the Unity Walk and KSUnite event on Nov. 14 asking how they would “continue the walk” to lead Kansas State toward diversity, inclusion and equity.

Gabrielle Malfatti, diversity officer candidate and director of global engagement at the University of Missouri’s College of Education, presented her thoughts in front of the search committee during an open forum interview in Town Hall in the Leadership Studies Building.

“What I’d like to discuss with you today is human dignity and the importance of caring for one another,” Malfatti said. “We must understand cultural intelligence, as not everyone sees the world through the same cultural frame.”

Malfatti said her model to create unity is centered around facilitating conversations and promoting traits that can be developed. These traits included cognizance, curiosity, cultural intelligence, collaboration, commitment and courage.

According to the chief diversity and inclusion officer’s online position profile, the position “serves as a catalyst to leverage best practices and resources across Kansas State University’s campuses to promote a culture of inclusion” where all individuals are “able to thrive and be engaged.”

April Mason, search committee member and university provost, spoke with Malfatti before the interview.

“We have had the opportunity to look at her letter of interest in this position and had a wonderful conversation with her over dinner last night about her vision for this position over what we should do as a follow up to the KSUnite events,” Mason said.

Sam Sharpe, graduate student in biology, said Malfatti would do well at the job.

“I think she would be a good fit,” Sharpe said. “Some of the ideas she expressed and the truths she told, I haven’t heard those from anyone else, and I think it’s important to bring them to light.”

Other candidates for the position include Maurice Gipson, assistant vice chancellor and chief diversity officer at Arkansas State, and Bryan Samuel, director of the Office of Equity and Diversity at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Gipson interviewed Tuesday, while Samuel interviewed Thursday afternoon.