Dear UT Community,
I am extremely pleased to inform you that Dr. Lydia Contreras will serve as our new Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity, effective immediately.
In this role, Dr. Contreras will lead the advancement of the Strategic Plan for Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity in alignment with UT’s new plan for an equitable and inclusive campus, You Belong Here. She will also work closely with Dr. Tasha Beretvas, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, to enhance and grow diversity-related faculty recruitment and retention efforts and collaborate with deans and diversity, equity, and inclusion committees across UT’s colleges and schools.
Dr. Contreras has been the managing director of diversity since 2020 and has been integral to the launch of several new diversity initiatives, including the Early Career Fellows Program and Seed Grants for Actions that promote community transformation (ACT), both designed to help build a more inclusive environment on campus.
She is a highly regarded professor and researcher in the Cockrell School of Engineering, and her leadership and experience building more equity and inclusivity in STEM — as well as across our university — is what truly set her apart in the search. I am confident in her ability to continue the work of the strategic plan while developing new initiatives that drive our university forward.
I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize Dr. Ted Gordon, who has served as the Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity since 2017 and been a tremendous leader. A longtime advocate and voice for faculty equity at UT, Dr. Gordon has been instrumental in the development of many faculty diversity initiatives, including the Faculty Diversity Strategic plan, launched in 2021. I am thrilled that he will continue in a new role as Executive Director for the Contextualization and Commemoration Initiative, where he will be leading the university’s efforts to reimagine Painter Hall, the East Mall, and campus public history.
Please join me in thanking Ted for his exceptional service and congratulating Lydia on her new leadership role!