Texas Tech University

Big 12 Diversity Leaders to Discuss National Topics

K’Leigh Sims

January 11, 2016

The chapter, which was formed in 2008, will meet Wednesday and Thursday (Jan. 13-14) for its quarterly meeting on the Texas Tech University campus.

For the first time since it was formed in 2008, the Big 12 Chief Diversity Officers chapter will return to Texas Tech University for its quarterly meeting to engage in discussions about recent campus events across the nation, such as the University of Missouri, Fisher v. the University of Texas and the recently released Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers created by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).

Juan Muñoz
Juan Muñoz

“We are thrilled to once again host this distinguished group of higher education professionals and to further assert Texas Tech's national leadership and model for access, equity and inclusive excellence,” said Juan Muñoz, senior vice president of Texas Tech's Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement and vice provost of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs.

Serving as the preeminent voice for diversity officers in higher education, NADOHE works to lead higher education institutions toward inclusive excellence through institutional transformation.

Meetings will begin Wednesday (Jan. 13) and will conclude Thursday (Jan. 14). Those in attendance will include:

  • The Big 12 Chief Diversity Officers chapter members
  • Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis
  • Lenore Pearlstein, publisher for INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine and owner and publisher of Potomac Publishing, Inc.
  • Texas Tech Provost Lawrence Schovanec
  • Suzanne Tapp, executive director of Texas Tech's Teaching, Learning and Professional Development Center
  • Members of the Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education
  • Regional diversity representatives from colleges and universities in West Texas

Jason Kirksey, chapter president, vice president of Institutional Diversity and chief diversity officer at Oklahoma State University, said this quarterly meeting provides the time for chief diversity officers from universities to come together and talk collectively about different diversity issues, share resources and continue to develop ways to create inclusive universities.

“This is a great time for us to come together, exchange ideas and figure out new things to try on each of our colleges campuses regarding diversity and inclusion,” Kirksey said. “At this meeting, one of our focuses will be about attracting diverse faculty and staff. In particular we will discuss strategies aimed at recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty members that will promote diversity and inclusive excellence across the Big 12 university campuses. We are most grateful to Texas Tech for its willingness to serve as this spring's institutional host for the Big 12 Chief Diversity Officers meeting.”

Texas Tech has made major strides toward NADOHE's goal since 2008. With the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (founded in 2009), Texas Tech has 12 programs dedicated to serving students from all different walks of life. The Division of Institutional Diversity has received many awards and accolades for its efforts in advancing diversity on a college campus, including:

  • Receiving the INSIGHT Into Diversity award for two consecutive years
  • Being included in the White House Initiative's Bright spots in Hispanic Education
  • Multiple military and veteran awards, rankings and recognitions
  • A continual growth in the diverse student population at Texas Tech