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Kansas State University

About the Michael Tilford Conference

Hosted by Kansas State University

The Michael Tilford Conference provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, and administrators at the Kansas Board of Regents' institutions to approach diversity in higher education by examining the challenges and opportunities in Kansas including:

  • identifying the changing demographics of college campuses,
  • examining the role of faculty, staff, and administrators in response to these demographic changes,
  • understanding the implications of these changes in terms of policy, curriculum, teaching methods, and recruitment and retention, and
  • promoting inclusion for marginalized populations.

This conference is named in memory of the late Dr. Michael Tilford, who passed away on November 6, 1996. Dr. Tilford was the WSU representative on the Regents Diversity and Multiculturalism Committee from its onset in 1994 until his death.

In 1969, Dr. Tilford was one of 100 African-American educators from across the country who received Ford Foundation Grants for advanced graduate study. He received his doctorate from Oklahoma State University in 1970. Dr. Tilford also had a bachelor's degree from Langston University in mathematics/chemistry and a master's from Johns Hopkins University in science education. He was appointed Dean of the Graduate School of WSU in 1988 and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1994. Dr. Tilford chaired many organizations, and his committee work showed his commitment to the education of students traditionally underrepresented at the university level.

In the 1970s, he served on a committee that developed a successful proposal for the minority studies program. Also, he helped conduct a study of the institutional commitment to minorities at WSU. Dr. Michael Tilford was a beloved colleague and friend to all who knew him at WSU. He was a true presence on our campus and we miss him greatly.