This week’s news in brief — Aug. 5

WSU receives $1 million to assist local small businesses

The City of Wichita recently announced that $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will go to supporting WSU’s Office of Innovation and New Ventures (INV) new formation: the Small Business Digital Transformation (SBDT) Program.

This program will address technology gaps in the local business ecosystem. In addition, it will focus on issues related to the pandemic, the adoption of digital transformation in customer-centric businesses and the establishment of a support system to overcome educational and cultural barriers to adopt digital business tools.

INV delivers programming around innovation, combining academics and industry.

“Long-term, the hope is that it will allow the businesses to be more successful and to grow,” Troy Tabor, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, said in a WSU news release. “This is the way for the university to bring these small businesses up to speed – it will raise all ships.”

For more information on the new program, go to

Fairmount College announces new associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion

Earlier this week, Andrew Hippisley, dean of the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, announced the appointment of Jean Griffith to the role of associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion for LAS.

The associate dean role is new; it follows recommendations made by the National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant team.

Griffith was an associate professor of English and served as the former chair of the Department of English. She has served as the director of faculty and curricular diversity in the provost’s office.

As associate dean, Griffith will offer leadership for faculty-related diversity and inclusion initiatives, while also assessing existing programs. In addition, she will monitor equity processes in the college, like faculty hiring and promotions.

“Jean will do an outstanding job in leading the way in diversity and inclusion in the college and the university community as a whole,” Edil Torres Rivera, LatinX studies and counseling professor, said in a WSU news release.”

Cash is back at the RSC

The Rhatigan Student Center is now accepting cash for its dining locations. In addition, Shocker Dining and the new Cargill Cafe in Woolsey Hall will accept cash as well.

Credit/debit cards and dining dollars will continue to be accepted at these dining locations as well.

WSU Dining Services said it hopes the change will make a large difference for guests.