Strategic Plan for Faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Approved

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost is pleased to announce that President Jay Hartzell has approved the Strategic Plan for Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity for UT Austin. This plan would not be possible without the work and input of the diversity committees, staff in my office, and efforts to review and approve it by the provost and vice president for legal affairs. This plan specifies objectives, policies, prioritized actions, and timetables to be undertaken over the next four years to meet our institution’s strategic goals with regard to equity and inclusivity.

These goals include:

  1. Attract, recruit, and employ a diverse faculty
  2. Retain, develop, and promote a diverse faculty
  3. Establish an equitable and inclusive climate
  4. Support innovative and diverse scholarship, teaching, and service

Correspondingly, the interim provost has expanded the Vice Provost for Diversity portfolio to include new critical roles that will enable us to carry out the mission of the strategic plan and track our progress.

  • Lydia Contreras, Managing Director of Diversity, Associate Professor, McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Grayson Hunt, Director of Equity Outreach and Resources, LGBTQ Studies and Center for Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Del Watson, Director for Faculty Engagement
  • Faith Miller, Senior Diversity Operations Coordinator
  • Christina Horton, Administrative Associate

Additionally, we are building the infrastructure required to sustain meaningful institutional changes in the area of faculty equity and inclusion. All colleges and schools have already appointed diversity officers, or are in the process of doing so. The provost has appointed faculty-led Equity Councils (Council for Racial and Ethnic Equity and Diversity, University Faculty Gender Equity Council, and Council for LGBTQ+ Access, Equity and Inclusion) to continuously assess campus climate and advise university leadership on race, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexuality. We are also planning to launch a Disabled Faculty Council soon.

Taken together these efforts enable us to continue to make progress in the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse faculty, and in the establishment of a welcoming climate for all. If you have questions on any of these issues or require clarification on parts of the report, please feel reach out to my office directly.

Lydia Contreras, PhD | (She/Hers/Ella)
Professor; McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering
Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; University of Texas-Austin

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