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Tayah Butler Appointed Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Poole College of Management

Effective December 1, Tayah Butler became the first director of diversity, equity and inclusion for Poole College of Management, stepping up from her previous position as director of diversity and inclusion for undergraduate programs. Butler’s new position stems from the college’s continued commitment to expand diversity and inclusion efforts for all programs, students and faculty and staff. 

In her new role, Butler will be working closely with the college’s executive committee as well as sit on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee to ensure Poole College implements new DEI efforts, benchmarking DEI needs and working with faculty and staff to enhance diversity awareness and make changes.

“We are excited about Tayah moving into the role of Director of Diversity for Poole College,” said Frank Buckless, Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean of Poole College. “In her time within the Office of Undergraduate Programs, she has expanded our programming to recognize and celebrate the diversity of our community and create a more inclusive community. I look forward to her bringing that energy and innovation to the college level.”

“We have many goals that we would like to achieve in the coming months and years to help Poole continue its growth in this critical area. Tayah will certainly be influential in guiding the college through these efforts. I look forward to the impact she will have in this newly created position.”

Butler has been with the Poole College of Management since 2016 and her previous role as director of diversity and inclusion helped lead the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Hub located in Nelson Hall. Her undergraduate responsibilities were to work with each student service area of undergraduate programs to implement inclusive practices and programs. She also was appointed as the Poole College representative to all key university-wide committees that relate to student success of historically underrepresented minority students.

Butler met regularly with the other ten college level diversity coordinators and collaborated with the NC State Cultural Centers to increase student participation in their Multicultural Student Affairs annual programs such as the Multicultural Student Symposium, Annual Freshman Honors Convocation, Multicultural and Lavender Student Commencements and summer student programs for prospective students.

Q&A with Tayah Butler

During your time with Poole College, what initiatives have been implemented to promote diversity and inclusion?

When I sat down for my first day on the job in undergraduate programs in August of 2016, I asked Dr. Tamah Morant how she would define success of the role she had just hired me to fill. Her response was the following: diversity, equity and inclusion would be in all aspects of the undergraduate experience and an inclusive attitude would become part of what Poole College is known for. 

It was a couple of weeks later that we came up with our sticky slogan of “Inclusive By Design” and started laying the foundation for the vision to take shape. Over the next four years “Inclusive By Design” took the form of raising over $200,000 in support from corporate sponsors creating dozens of new programs that validate intersectional identity, helping inclusive curriculum changes in multiple courses, and finding hundreds of alumni partners ways to engage with us in the process. 

Everything from different visual queues you see in our hallways to the increasing use of pronouns in our introductions. I see our Poole community embracing every opportunity to be “Inclusive By Design”! 

What are your first steps in your first 90 days in your new role?

I get the honor to ask the same question of my new boss, Frank Buckless. In our early conversations, he has laid out for me his four main focus areas: creating a culture of belonging, identifying a strategy for recruiting diverse faculty, broad-spectrum curriculum updates and attracting a student body that reflects the diversity of our society. My role will be to help facilitate our community in achieving these goals.

Thankfully, Dean Buckless has identified a committee of champions to help explore and execute the strategies needed to live up to the challenge and we have been able to start meetings to get our ideas and task teams organized. In my first 90 days, I look forward to being the conduit that shares the vision for the focus areas and brings people together to work towards our goals in each of the focus areas.

How can Poole students, faculty and staff, and alumni promote and become more involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives?

Jump into every opportunity you see! Sharing what you are learning and exploring inspires others to do the same. Get engaged in the activities that will be showing up on our newsletters and email invitations. 

Got an idea you would love to see happen in Poole? Share it in the Dean’s Suggestion Box and it will make its way to our desks.

This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.

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