Kenneth Reid, Director of African American Affairs is leaving Minnesota State University, Mankato as he transitions into the role as the Associate Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs for Lake Superior College, in Duluth.
Being at the forefront of several conversations, some including the discussion regarding equity and inclusion at MSU, Reid has left a lasting impression at MSU as he leaves just two months shy of his fifth year anniversary at the university.
“My favorite memories are the ones with the students, them sitting at the table [in the MCC] talking about the hottest tea happening in pop culture, or being in my office working and overhearing them gossip.”
Reid has worked at multiple different universities including Gustavus Adolphus College, and the University of Northern Iowa before coming to MSU. Reid has been very proud of the impact he has made with students.
“The development and implementation of BeYOU [Black Excellence in You] program is something I am proud of. It’s great because from that program we have our first young man that started in 2018 who is walking across the stage with 7 out of the original 12 members and 4 to 5 who are going on to get their masters,” Reid said.
Other events he was able to be a leader in was the annual Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Conference that has been hosted via Zoom the past several years due to COVID.
“Continuing the legacy of the Michael T. Fagen Pan African Conference and the workaround that while shedding light and awareness to issues that affect the students of Africa on an international level,” Reid shared. “Being able to leave on a note of having that conversation about equity in education and that being the conversation this year before my departure.”
Creating a collaborative and close work environment is something Kenneth enjoyed and will miss.
“The MavFam, whether it be the students, administrator or colleagues it was definitely a family and being able to pick up a call and say ‘hey can you help with this’ we all helped each other, supported one another and have been a unit,” Reid said.
With his last day being June 7, 2022 Reid will continue to be a part of the MinnState school system as he moves into his next position.
According to students at MSU, Reid was always willing to sit down and talk about academics or life planning.
“He [Kenneth] has helped me stay on track with my classes and has given me a lot of great advising advice,” India Ross, senior at MSU, said.
Others shared the importance of representation that Reid brought to MSU.
“Having a black mentor and just being around and present is something I’ll miss,” Mariana Jordan, junior said.
Being a mentor for students who are new to MSU was another impact Reid has made.
“He [Kenneth] helped me get connected with other students when I first got here. He helped support me academically and with planning my career when talking about salaries and positions,” Kornelius Klah, senior at MSU, said. “His genuineness and willing to help and guide is something I’ll miss.”
The position for the new Director of African American Affairs has not yet been announced. It can be expected that a mass email announcing the new director will be sent out this summer or early next fall.
Header Photo: Kenneth Reid (center) has been at MSU serving as the Director of African American Affairs for nearly five years. (Ajay Kasaudhan/The Reporter)
Write to Julia Barton at Julia.Barton@mnsu.edu