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New Diversity Director Named at University of Memphis

For release: November 19, 2012
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843

Dr. Karen Weddle-West
Dr. Karen Weddle-West

Dr. Karen Weddle-West has been appointed director of Diversity Initiatives at the University of Memphis.  Weddle-West will also continue to serve as vice provost for Graduate Programs.

As diversity director, Weddle-West will provide leadership for and serve as a conduit of programs, services, funds and resources designed to promote, sustain and enhance campus diversity in higher education.  She will serve as a resource for University personnel who are interested in writing grants related to diversity and as a facilitator/convener of committees focused on diversity initiatives.  In collaboration with a broad-based committee, she will also serve as a liaison between campus and community diversity initiatives designed to contribute to successful academic experiences for all students.

She will report directly to the president and will work closely with the offices of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action, with administrators in higher education at state and national levels, and with faculty and students to ensure broad engagement in diversity initiatives at the University of Memphis.

Weddle-West joined the University of Memphis in 1989 as assistant professor in Educational Psychology and Research; she was later made an associate professor in that discipline.   In 2003, following a successful tenure as associate dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Education, she became vice provost for Graduate Programs.  Notable accomplishments during her tenure as vice provost include facilitating the launch of more than 50 new graduate programs and the enhancement of inclusiveness.  She has served on more than 100 doctoral committees, procured a number of grants, and held leadership roles in accreditation processes.

Her research, scholarship and teaching are all focused on diversity.  She serves on national boards as chair of the Council of Graduate Schools Advisory Committee on Minorities in Graduate Education, the GRE Board and as a member of that board’s Research Committee, and the board of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).

Weddle-West was awarded the M.S. degree in 1977 and the Ph.D. degree in 1982 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


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