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University of Kansas Names Director of Multicultural Affairs

LAWRENCE, Kan. ― A longtime member of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of Kansas has been named permanent director of the department, fulfilling one demand of a student group seeking increased attention to diversity issues at the school.

Precious Porras, who was named interim director of OMA in May after the department’s former director left the university, takes over as its permanent director on Jan. 4.

Porras joined the office in 2005, was named its assistant director of diversity education the next year and has been taking on increased responsibility ever since. In 2013 she became the associate director of diversity education and social justice programs, in which she organized workshops, supervised staff and taught two courses.

Her appointment as OMA director comes more than a month after protests led by a student group that complained university administrators weren’t making progress on addressing problems faced by minority and “marginalized” students.

“I know she possesses the vision and drive that will allow KU ― and our students ― to advance important conversations and achieve great success,” said Nate Thomas, vice provost for diversity and equity.

Porras has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Northwest Missouri State University and a master’s degree in counselor education from Emporia State University. She expects to finish a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at the university next year.

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