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Kansas State Adds New Vice President To Oversee Diversity

Kansas State University

Kansas State University President Richard Myers had promised to strengthen the university's commitment to diversity, and he did just that Tuesday.

K-State announced the hiring of Adrian Rodriguez as the school's first vice president for diversity and multicultural student affairs. "Adrian will serve a critical leadership role to promote a culture at Kansas State University where all students are able to thrive and be engaged," Myers said in a statement.

The appointment of Rodriguez came on the same day K-State canceled the first two hours of classes so students could attend diversity events on campus.

There has been heightened tension at K-State over several recent incidents.

A noose was found on campus earlier this year, and white nationalist posters were discovered in September.

Last week, a car painted with racial slurs was determined to be a hoax.

"Being a part of a university committed to creating a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for all students is exactly the place my family and I want to be and K-State embodies that very spirit," Rodriguez said in the same university statement.

Since 2008, Rodriguez has been the vice president for student development services at Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus in Fort Worth, according to K-State.

There are some bright spots in K-State's diversity efforts.

It's been named one of the top 25 campuses in the nation for LGBT-friendliness, and as KCUR reported last year, K-State has been aggressively recruiting DACA students.

Last July, Wildcat offensive lineman Scott Frantz came out as gay. He was only the second major college football player to come out.

This is the second job in Kansas for Rodriguez. From 2004-2008 he was Dean of Students at Butler County Community College in El Dorado.

Rodriguez will report to the Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and Dean of Students. K-State still plans to hire a chief diversity officer who will report directly to Myers.

Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR and the Kansas News Service and is co-host of the political podcast Statehouse Blend Kansas. Follow him on Twitter @SamZeff.

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