TCU Neeley continues to spearhead in business education by opening one of the few offices devoted to inclusivity in the country.
March 08, 2021
By Mariana Rivas
The Neeley School made history January 26 when it officially opened the Office of Inclusive Excellence as part of a larger diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiative at TCU.
Located at the heart of the Spencer and Marlene Hays Business Commons, the office becomes one of only 25 other similar spaces assigned to the charge in other business programs across the country.
The ribbon cutting ceremony hosted members across TCU’s campus to celebrate the step forward. Faculty, staff and students shared their approval of the move. Speeches from Office of Inclusive Excellence Director Ann Tasby, Ernst & Young’s Americas Inclusiveness Recruiting Leader Ken Bouyer and John V. Roach Dean of the Neeley School of Business Daniel Pullin stressed the importance of a physical space for DEI measures.
“As faculty and staff of one of the nation’s leading business schools, we don’t just have the opportunity, we have the obligation to be a positive force for improving diversity, equity and inclusion in both business and society," said Pullin.
Citing demographics of Texas’ ever-growing minority groups, Pullin emphasized the need for a campus culture that reflects the reality of the world around them.
“How could we possibly maximize the impact of our business insights unless we’re convening the most intellectually, culturally diverse group of faculty, students, alumni and citizens to explore these breakthroughs to make our companies more effective, more efficient and therefore more enduring?" Pullin said.
The event isn’t the first step TCU Neeley has made in its DEI efforts. TCU launched a cross-campus DEI committee in 2017 where Neeley faculty were represented. In May 2019, the Neeley School established its own Inclusive Excellence Committee. And in the start of the fall 2020 semester Tasby was named the director of the Office of Inclusive Excellence.
Since starting these initiatives, the Neeley School has supported diverse students, faculty and staff by founding groups such as the TCU student chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and started mentoring programs for graduate students.
“While it’s really important we celebrate today, we understand that this is not an end point. It is not a destination and it's certainly not a declaration of a job well done,” Pullin said. “If anything, it’s a mile marker on an ongoing journey that will continue to take time and talent and investment.”
Tasby told the audience how the office hopes to continue the work started. She said the office’s general strategy focuses on supporting the success and inclusivity of three key populations: students, faculty and staff; corporate partners; and alumni.
For example, the office will recruit minority students with summer bridge programs, work with faculty to incorporate DEI in the TCU Neeley core curriculum to aid current students with cultural competence, and support minority students with mentorship programs.
Tasby said she’s excited to get started in the role full time this semester.
“I feel so humbled and fortunate to be able to lead the charge because it's something that I've been passionate about for my entire life,” Tasby said. “I'm very optimistic about what we'll be able to accomplish.”
Tasby said she envisions the office as a first stop, where any student can come with questions to learn about how TCU Neeley’s programs can help them.
“It would be the place where students can come in and determine where they should go, so it's not just talking about what’s going on in their world relative to inclusive excellence matters, but really just about student success,” she said.
TCU Neeley student leader and NABA President Rassan Hatcher seems to share in this vision.
“What the office of inclusive excellence means to me, is the beginning of new initiatives dedicated to ensuring that the Neeley School of Business is equitable for everyone,” Hatcher said. “It represents a place where a student like myself can go to feel understood because it is a sanctuary that invites all students there because they're all welcome.”