K-State’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer is leaving the university in two months.
In a statement Wednesday, university officials announced Bryan Samuel is set to become the vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Texas at Arlington in early May.
In Samuel’s three years at K-State, he has worked to establish the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, develop the university’s diversity and inclusion plan as well as the KSUnite program, and implement the 2020 University Climate Survey to gather input from the campus community regarding peoples’ individual experiences and wellbeing.
Samuel previously served in leadership capacities to advance diversity and inclusion for universities across the country.
He told The Mercury that he wasn’t looking to leave K-State, but a search firm contacted him about the UT-Arlington job.
“After some conversation about their university and where they were headed, I determined someone such as myself could work well within their community,” he said. “I found it to be a great opportunity for my family and I, and also being in the Dallas-Fort Worth area would be good personally for me, too.”
Samuel said it is a bittersweet moment leaving the K-State and Manhattan communities.
“It was truly a difficult decision,” he said. “We truly like being on campus at K-State and living in the community here. We have been treated very, very well.”
In a statement, President Richard Myers said Samuel “laid the foundation for this new position while also moving the university forward in so many ways in the past three years.”
“We appreciate his many contributions in leading and helping ensure our many diversity-related initiatives were at the top of our priority lists,” Myers said.
The University of Texas Arlington is a larger university with 42,733 students enrolled in fall 2020, compared to 20,854 at K-State.
Teik Lim, the interim president of UT-Arlington, said in a statement Tuesday that Samuel will lead the newly developed office within the university, “which will act as an administrative, intellectual, and community-oriented hub.”
Lim said Samuel was chosen for the role after a national search for candidates.
“We believe Samuel possesses great skills and a passionate commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion matters,” Lim said.
Samuel said, in the statement for UT-Arlington, that “it will be an honor and a privilege” to serve as the first person in that role at UTA.
K-State plans to replace Samuel. The university said it would release details on the search process at a later date.