Jilma Meneses, Chief Diversity Officer at PSU, to join leadership at Concordia University
Author: Scott Gallagher
Posted: September 22, 2014

(Portland, Ore.) Sept. 22, 2014 — Jilma Meneses, chief diversity officer at Portland State University, will leave on Nov. 10 to become the chief operations officer at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.

During her four years of leadership, PSU unified several programs into the Office of Global Diversity & Inclusion (GDI) with a goal of promoting and integrating diversity into all aspects of the university experience. As a result, PSU has increased minority student recruitment, which now composes nearly 30 percent of the student body, not including international students.  Retention and graduation rates of minority students has increased and Meneses’ emphasis on recruitment of minority faculty has led to the hiring of 30 faculty of color in the last four years.

In addition to creating the first-ever Diversity Action Plan with the Diversity Action Council, Meneses has made PSU a strong partner among organizations that serve minority communities. Her efforts to make a pathway to college possible for underrepresented and low-income students include stewarding the President’s Equal Access Scholarship.

Meneses said, “I am proud of the work accomplished by the PSU community and the strong relationships forged in my time here. Although there is still much to do, PSU is well-equipped to continue leading efforts for equity and opportunity within the Portland metro region.”

Meneses also addressed the complex issue of sexual assault on a university campus. She recently worked with her staff and internal partners to collaboratively develop a mandatory training video for all students to raise awareness of sexual assault, promote prevention, response, and inform them of support services on campus.

“Jilma has been such a great partner and advocate for social justice and equity on our campus and throughout the region,” said Wim Wiewel, president of PSU. “She is a champion for all students’ rights and we will continue to build on her efforts to enact positive change in Portland.”

In the next few weeks, Wiewel and his executive committee will discuss how best to continue Meneses’ efforts and the role of the Global Diversity & Inclusion office and initiatives.