Myers said university ‘cannot violate the law,’ releases action steps to address campus racism

President Richard Myers said the university "cannot violate the law." (File Photo by Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

In a K-State Today press release, President Richard Myers said the university “cannot violate the law” by expelling a student, despite his controversial tweets last week.

“There have been many calls for us to expel a student who posted racist messages on social media, and while these messages are disrespectful and abhorrent, we cannot violate the law,” Myers said.

Myers said Kansas State will use these as a “catalyst” to define hate and racism on campus. There are 11 action steps outlined in the release, eight of which are directly student-related.

Student steps include:

  • Creating a Student Ombudsperson Office
  • Forming a university policy working group to address institutional bias and barriers
  • Increase recruitment and retention for students of color,
  • Increase need-based scholarships. Some will be formed from administrative salary reductions
  • Develop a social media policy to balance free speech and university values
  • Initiate a “Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation” campaign through the Office of Student Life

Faculty and staff steps include:

  • Increasing the hiring and retention of people of color
  • Adopting the U.S. multicultural overlay university-wide
  • Have mandatory cultural competency workshops

Recruitment and retention rates would “meet or exceed the state of Kansas demographics,” Myers wrote.

“We will ensure students, faculty and staff of color are at the table along with other underrepresented groups as the above action steps move forward,” Myers said. “Work on this plan begins immediately and progress will be reported monthly to the university community.”

Myers said these steps are initial responses and further actions will be considered.

My name is Bailey Britton and I am the former editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I have been the assistant news editor and the managing editor. I have also interned for the Manhattan Mercury and the Colby Free Press. I grew up in Colby, Kansas, and I am a junior in journalism and English. Through the Collegian, I aim to provide the K-State community with quality news coverage while we learn to serve our campus.