LAWRENCE — Steven Johnson Jr., a complex director with KU Student Housing, will fill the new position of director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Student Programs at the University of Kansas School of Business beginning June 3.
Johnson will be responsible for managing and enhancing the school’s existing DEI programs, which include the Multicultural Business Scholars Program (MBSP) and the Summer Venture in Business program. In addition, he will recruit and mentor underrepresented students at the School of Business, with the goal of strengthening recruitment, retention, academic performance and placement.
“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,” Dean Paige Fields said. “Steven, who is a first-generation college student, will be instrumental in reaching and connecting with underrepresented students.”
In his previous role at KU, Johnson assisted with recruitment and student success initiatives, including facilitating workshops and developmental sessions on issues surrounding and affecting marginalized populations. He said he hopes to explore innovative methods to connect with prospective students from diverse backgrounds.
“I am thrilled about joining such a dynamic team of faculty and staff who are committed to the betterment of students, the school and the university,” Johnson said. “When visiting with individuals in the School of Business, it was evident that there was a common-felt culture of support, care and connectedness. I am eager to engage in and contribute to that culture.”
Johnson’s start coincides with the school’s second annual Summer Venture in Business program, which will take place from June 3 to June 5. The program is a pre-college experience aimed at familiarizing underrepresented high school students, including potential first-generation college students, with academic resources at KU and introducing them to business topics.
The school’s MBSP was founded in 1992 by Professor Emerita Renate Mai-Dalton, who served as the program director through spring 2006. It has served as a model for similar programs within other KU academic units.
Before coming to KU, Johnson was 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 engineering from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in student affairs administration from Michigan State University.