Poole College welcomes new director of diversity and inclusion

Submitted by Ashlyn Shore on Sunday Sep 11, 2016.

The NC State Poole College of Management this fall welcomed Tayah Lin Butler, MBA, as the college’s director of diversity and inclusion. The new position reflects the college’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion through both leadership and program development, and Butler hit the ground running since joining the college this summer.

In the past few weeks, she has prepped teams of undergraduate students and professionals to serve as peer and professional mentors for the college's approximately 1,000 new students. On Friday, September 10, the mentors met with their Student Network Groups for the first time. Poole College several years ago incorporated the SNGs into its M100 course - the Career and Managerial Effective course required for all undergraduate students. Poole College's SNGs are modeled after corporate affinity groups in place in the corporate environment. (Read a recent related blog post at the Viacom blog). 

“I believe that business students have a disproportionate opportunity to solve challenges that communities face in the modern economy and it’s our role as a business college to equip those leaders with competence, fluency and comfort in inter-cultural work spaces. We need all faces at the table,” Butler said.

Butler brings to her new role prior experience as an undergraduate advisor for pre-business and business students at the University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business. Soon after starting in there, she created the Connect Engage Opportunity Network (CEO Network) to help encourage the program’s underrepresented students stay on track toward graduation from the business program. The result: the business school’s retention rates rose from 30 to 85 percent among students who participated in the CEO Network.

Tamah Morant, associate dean for undergraduate programs at Poole College, said the college’s leadership team upgraded a previous coordinator of diversity position to the current director of diversity and inclusion. The change reflects the college’s strong commitment to supporting an atmosphere that embraces all perspectives and encourages input from all backgrounds and experiences.  

“Our goal is to develop business leaders who genuinely embrace diversity of thought and experience and to put those leaders in a position to share that perspective with the world,” said Annette L. Ranft, Poole College dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Chair. “We are pleased to welcome Tayah to our team and value her demonstrated experience and initiative in helping develop future business leaders and role models.”

Butler received her bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish and master’s in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University.

In a recent interview with Poole College communications, she shared insights regarding what she brings to her new role.  

What drew you to this position?

Realizing the importance of diversity and inclusion, I wanted to grow from my experience at the University of Oregon. I have a passion for civil rights, social action and education, and understand that student success is not just about programming. I look forward to working with bold leaders and creating a clear vision of equity and inclusiveness in the college.

How will you be bringing your message to Poole College students?

I will continue to work with leaders of student organizations, as my predecessor did, to bring inclusive work practices to their programming. I will also help undergraduate programs look at the metrics of their majors, persistence rates and graduation rates. I aim to help every unit in undergraduate programs identify an inclusion initiative which supports the vision that Dr. Morant and Dean Ranft have for Poole.

What do you think about Raleigh?

While Raleigh is different than Eugene, the transition is going relatively smoothly thanks to having family nearby.

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