West Virginia University Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Meshea L. Poore, Esq. is the new president of the Big 12 Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. Her term officially began on June 1.
“I’m honored to be elected to this position,” Poore said. “The Big 12 Conference and each of our institutions are doing significant work as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion. I look forward to serving in this role with the outstanding leaders in the association and the conference.”
The Big 12 Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education is a chapter of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. The president of the Association is tasked with leading the chief diversity officers of all Big 12 member institutions in discussions and initiatives that will impact the direction of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies and practices across the conference.
Outgoing President Dr. Carol A. Sumner of Texas Tech University looks forward to seeing Poore in this new role.
“It has been my honor to serve alongside Meshea this past year and to now celebrate her as the President of the Big 12 Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education,” Sumner said. “She is an incredible champion for DEI and leader for her campus community and beyond. Meshea has been working to build connections across the Big 12 and we are elated that she will be leading us forward. Her compassion, commitment and care for those who are doing the work of DEI and impacted by the same will be reflected in her leadership of the chapter, across the conference, and as a part of NADOHE.”
As members of their institutional executive leadership teams, each association officer and board member is responsible for leading comprehensive DEI efforts with university and community partners in all areas of university operations. The association allows all members of the Big 12 and affiliates to share ideas and resources to address emerging trends and work systematically to improve the experience and equity at all member institutions. With the new attention being given to longstanding issues of systemic discrimination and historical injustices, the association is more important than ever to member institutions and their communities.
“Meshea’s work is important for the Big 12 Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and for West Virginia University as we work toward a more equitable and inclusive society,” President Gordon Gee said. “The Association’s efforts reach beyond athletics and into academic engagement, student affairs and human resources—areas where she will use her extraordinary talents to address issues of racism, discrimination and social injustice.”
Some of the recent initiatives and efforts of the association have included working with the Big 12 Athletic Conference as it develops a robust DEI effort at the conference level. One example of the work is the creation of a student-athlete advisory group, for which Poore currently serves as an advisor.
“I along with my colleagues in the Big 12 look forward to continuing working with Commissioner Bob Bowlsby as they engage in important conversations that affect everyone from student-athletes to faculty and staff and into the broader communities our institutions call home,” Poore said.
“Not only is it great for Meshea, but also West Virginia University that she will preside over this important association,” Lyons said. “She is a great representative and leader for WVU. I am confident that her leadership in this position will further enhance the diversity initiative and efforts of the entire Big 12 Conference.”
The Big 12 Conference includes Baylor University, Iowa State University, University of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Texas Christian University, University of Texas, Texas Tech University and West Virginia University.
CONTACT: Richard Anderson
Senior Executive Assistant
WVU Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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