KU business school appoints first director of diversity, equity and inclusion programs

The University of Kansas has appointed Steven Johnson Jr., a complex director with KU Student Housing, to serve as the School of Business’ first director of diversity, equity and inclusion student programs.

Johnson will begin his new role June 3, the university announced Thursday.

In his newly created position, Johnson will be responsible for “managing and enhancing” the business school’s existing DEI programs, which include the Multicultural Business Scholars Program and the Summer Venture in Business program. He will also serve as a recruiter and mentor to underrepresented students at the KU School of Business, with the goal of bolstering recruitment, retention, academic performance and placement, according to KU’s news release.

photo by: Contributed photo

Steven Johnson, Jr.

“I am so pleased that Steven will be joining us in the KU School of Business as our director of DEI student programs. He brings his love of KU and incredible energy and positivity to this very important role,” School of Business Dean Paige Fields said in the news release. “Steven, who is a first-generation college student, will be instrumental in reaching and connecting with underrepresented students.”

As a complex director, Johnson assisted with recruitment and student success initiatives, including the facilitation of workshops and developmental sessions on issues relevant to marginalized populations. In the news release, Johnson said he hopes to explore “innovative methods to connect with prospective students from diverse backgrounds.”

Johnson’s first week in his new role will coincide with the business school’s second annual Summer Venture in Business program, slated for June 3-5 at KU. The pre-college experience is geared toward underrepresented high school students, including potential first-generation college students, with the goal of introducing them to business topics and academic resources at KU.

Before his arrival at KU, Johnson served as an assistant community director for Resident Education and Housing Services at Michigan State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and manufacturing systems from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in student affairs administration from Michigan State University.


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