Records of the University of Kansas Office of Multicultural Affairs
This record group contains records from the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and its predecessors. Most of these records are correspondence and subject files detailing OMA projects and events, as well as the day-to-day operations of the Office. There are also photographs of events held by the OMA and limited documentation of student projects that have been affiliated with the OMA over the years.
- Creation: 1962 - 2022
- University of Kansas. Office of Minority Affairs (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Some series in this record group will require permission from the office of origin before use. Personnel and student records are closed in accordance with applicable law. All requests are subject to review by the Archives staff to determine accessibility.
History of the Office of Multicultural Affairs
The University of Kansas' Office of Multicultural Affairs had its origins in the protests and minority movements of the 1960s and 1970s, both on campus at KU and around the country on other university campuses. The predecessor to the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Urban Affairs, was formed in 1970 under pressure from the KU Black Student Union. Founded under Phillip Gary, the former Assistant to the Chancellor of Urban Affairs, the Office of Urban Affairs originally maintained programs such as Supportive Educational Services (SES).
In 1975, however, SES became independent from the Office of Urban Affairs (which had changed its name in 1972 to the Office of Minority Affairs), and the OMA began focusing on cultural enrichment programs, as well as student counseling and student recruitment and retention.
In 1991, under Dr. Sherwood Thompson, the OMA moved from its Strong Hall location to a bigger, more visible space. It continued to service the needs of a diverse range of students on campus, but the OMA also took on administrative leadership of the Multicultural Resource Center to improve cultural awareness at KU.
In 2000, the Office of Minority Affairs became the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and in 2001 a committee was formed to submit plans for a new Multicultural Resource Center. By 2003, Student Senate passed a resolution funding the construction of what would become the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center (SMRC). The SMRC finished construction in February 2008, and the OMA moved into the new space in 2009. The office sometime later began reporting to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging (DEIB).
In Fall 2015, after the position had been vacant for several months, KU named Dr. Precious Porras the Director of the OMA. Porras was the Office’s first female director in 25 years, and she worked to expand OMA services to support queer and undocumented students. In late 2020 the OMA began reporting to Student Affairs instead of DEIB.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) provides social justice education for KU students, faculty, and staff to critically examine the intersections of identity, equity, accessibility, and impact, as well as offering programming to center community-building, liberation, and joy for students with marginalized identities.
27 Linear Feet (37 boxes + 57 folders, 2 oversize folders)
Language of Materials
This collection is arranged in the following series:
- Correspondence and Subject File
- Multicultural Resource Center
- Multicultural Scholars Program
University Archives continues to add material to this collection on a regular basis. The collection description was current as of September 2022.
- Guide to the Records of the University of Kansas Office of Multicultural Affairs
- Records of the University of Kansas Office of Multicultural Affairs
- Finding aid prepared by jtf, 2006. Finding aid encoded by jtf, 2006. Finding aid revised by lmb, 2010; jb and mwh, 2022.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- Support for inventorying of this record group was provided by the G. Baley Price Spencer Research Library Fellowship Fund.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Records of the University of Kansas Office of Multicultural Affairs, RG 6, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas