Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Transition Committee

Background

The University of Texas at Austin is committed to fostering a community that values diversity and inclusion as necessary elements of a world-class educational environment. The university’s diversity statement expresses this strong commitment and its centrality to unlocking student potential and preparing tomorrow’s future leaders.

As The University of Texas at Austin strives to meet its mission of unlocking potential and preparing future leaders of the state, it embraces diversity in many forms. The university is dedicated to attracting highly-qualified students, faculty and staff with a wide range of backgrounds, ideas and viewpoints. This includes those from all races and ethnicities; first-generation college students; women; and others who have been historically underrepresented on campus.

As a university with a past history of denying equitable access to qualified students, UT recognizes the profound benefits of creating an inclusive environment in which students can learn from one another. All students are better prepared to succeed in an increasingly diverse state and interconnected society when they receive the educational benefits of learning on a diverse campus.

With a commitment of ensuring access to its world-class education and graduation success outcomes to a diverse student population that contributes to and benefits from all that its diverse educational environment has to offer, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost announced the implementation of a university wide Recruitment and Retention Inclusion Effort. The campus wide effort will be coordinated by the Enrollment Management and Student Success. The effort launched with a plan for three inaugural recruitment and retention committees to be launched by January 2021: (1) the Hispanic Serving Institution Transition Committee, (2) the First-Generation Student Recruitment and Retention Committee, and (3) the African American Student Recruitment and Retention Committee.

Faculty, university staff, students, and also representatives from EVPP, DDCE, VPSA/DOS will serve on the committees. This is intended to be a standing effort, and as such, in the future, these committees may change, or be added to, as the university, its students, and its faculty identify campus inclusion and student support needs.

The committees will report on their work annually to the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, the Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, the Executive Director of Admissions, and the Executive Director of Student Success Initiatives

In the News

The Hispanic Serving Institution Transition Committee

UT Austin’s undergraduate student enrollment trends indicate that the university’s undergraduate student enrollment will meet the standards to qualify for Title IV Federal Grant- eligible designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) within the next few years. This recognition is important for our institution, as we have long been identified as the university where our state’s future leaders are educated and developed, and where leading teaching and research practices set the standard for higher education across the state and nation. This is an exciting time and opportunity for our campus to foster inclusion and to celebrate how our students, faculty, and staff contribute to and benefit from our campus community.

Achieving HSI status is important for UT Austin and its community as it recognizes the university’s dedication to providing opportunity and access to students and their families. This is where our future leaders are educated and developed. This is where leading teaching and research practices set the standard for higher education.

To enhance enrollment and student success efforts, and prepare the campus to become a HSI, the committee will provide institutional leadership and guidance through UT Austin’s transition to HSI designation. This will enable us to focus our work on the strategic planning around HSI resources, student success, support, and inclusion after the designation has happened. This group is represented by a diverse group of faculty, staff, students and campus administrators, and currently working to engage the campus.

As part of this broader effort, UT Austin has been working to increase Hispanic and Latinx student enrollment through comprehensive, recruitment strategy enhancements. In fall 2020, UT Austin became HSI eligible when undergraduate Hispanic enrollment reached 26.1%, crossing the 25% threshold for the first time.

  • Establish the university’s timeline for likelihood of HSI status (based on enrollment trends) and the timeline for application for the designation, as well as associated grant funding. — Complete
  • Establish timeline for application and prepare the university’s application for Department of Education Title V designation. — Complete
  • Prepare application for the next round of Seal of Excelencia award applications. — Complete
  • Develop an HSI transition plan that includes a campus access, inclusion and engagement plan to foster an inclusive and supportive campus environment poised to serve an increasingly diverse student population, and specifically a growing Hispanic student population, and develop a student servingness culture. — In progress

 

  • Fall 2019 — Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost announced the UT Recruitment and Retention Inclusion Effort
  • January 2020 — HSI Transition Committee convened
  • February 2020 — HSI Transition Committee hosts the Excelencia in Education team for a campus workshop with university stakeholders
  • June 2020 — UT Austin submitted 2020 Seal of Excelencia application
  • July 2020 — HSI Transition Subcommittee Chairs announced
  • September 2020 — HSI Transition Subcommittee Groups launch (Recruitment and Retention, Campus Engagement, and Faculty Engagement)
  • September 2020 — UT Austin becomes HSI eligible. Hispanic enrollment crosses the 25% threshold for the first time.
  • October 2020 — UT Austin awarded with the 2020 Seal of Excelencia designation
  • November 2020 — HSI Transition Committee drafts 2021 Committee Action Plan
  • Luis Zayas, Dean, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, Co-Chair
  • Rachelle Hernandez, Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Co-Chair
  • Karma Chavez, College of Liberal Arts, Associate Professor
  • Richard Flores, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Liberal Arts; Professor
  • Paul Goldbart, Dean, College of Natural Sciences
  • Deborah Parra-Medina, College of Liberal Arts, Professor
  • Victor Saenz, College of Education, Professor
  • Ya’Ke Smith, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Moody School of Communication, Associate Professor
  • Ted Gordon, Vice Provost for Diversity; College of Liberal Arts, Associate Professor
  • Yolanda Padilla, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, Professor
  • Charles Martinez, Dean, College of Education
  • Carol Longoria, Deputy to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
  • Sharon Wood, Dean, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Doug Morrice, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, McCombs School of Business; Professor
  • Octavio Martinez, DDCE Senior Associate Vice President, Director for the Hogg Foundation, Clinical Professor
  • Angela Valenzuela, College of Education, Professor
  • John Moran Gonzalez, College of Liberal Arts, Professor
  • Leticia Acosta, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach, McCombs School of Business
  • Miguel Wasielewski, Executive Director of Admissions
  • James Cox, College of Liberal Arts, Professor
  • Jocelly Meiners, College of Liberal Arts, Lecturer

Faculty Engagement Subcommittee

  • Ted Gordon, Co-chair, Vice Provost for Diversity, College of Liberal Arts, Associate Professor
  • Deborah Parra-Medina, Co-chair, College of Liberal Arts, Professor
  • Sarah Schoonhoven, Associate Project Manager, Faculty Innovation Center
  • Shelly Rodriguez, UTeach Maker Director, College of Natural Sciences, Associate Professor of Practice
  • Almeida Jaqueline Toribio, College of Liberal Arts, Professor
  • Yolanda Padilla, School of Social Work, Professor
  • Martha Menchaca, College of Liberal Arts, Professor
  • Danielle Thoma, Assistant Director of Recruitment, Outreach and Communication, Graduate School
  • Brad Love, College of Communications, Professor
  • Jacek Gwizdka, School of Information, Associate Professor
  • Carolyn Landel, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Collaborations, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Carlos Torres-Verdin, Cockrell College of Engineering, Professor
  • Pedro Reyes, College of Education, Professor

Campus Engagement Subcommittee

  • Carol Longoria, Co-chair, Deputy to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
  • Jocelly Meiners, Co-chair, College of Liberal Arts, Lecturer
  • Dalila Rivera, Student
  • Ezequiel Lozano, Student
  • María Luisa Echavarría, College of Liberal Arts, Lecturer
  • María Cotera, College of Liberal Arts, Associate Professor
  • Caroline Enriquez, Assistant Director of Recruitment Scholarships, Office of Admissions
  • Catherine Rodarte, Senior Program Coordinator, BBA Outreach and Recruitment, Red McCombs School of Business
  • Kim Gundersen, Associate Executive Director, Texas Exes
  • Susan Buckenmeyer, Associdate Dean of Students and Director of Special Projects, Office of the Dean of Students
  • Kouang Chan, Student and Staff Ombudsperson
  • Virginia Oviedo, Assistant Director, Dept. of Physics
  • Marisol Magana, Academic Coordinator, Athletics
  • Olga Perez, HR Manager, Athletics
  • Mallory Laurel, Director of Communications and Outreach for Latino Studies
  • Robert Vega, Deputy Director, Texas Career Engagement

Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee

  • Miguel Wasielewski, Co-chair, Executive Director of Admissions
  • John Moran Gonzalez, Co-Chair Professor, Director, Academic Program, PhD, Department of English
  • Ramon Blakley, Director of Recruitment, Office of Admissions
  • Charles Enriquez, Director, BBA Student Affairs, Red McCombs School of Business
  • Tony Gonzalez, College of Natural Sciences, Associate Professor of Practice
  • Christine Julien, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Cockrell College of Engineering, Professor
  • Carol Longoria, Deputy to the Vice President, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Milly Lopez, Director, DDCE Academic Diversity Initiatives
  • Paul Mannie, Access and Inclusion Initiatives Program Coordinator, Office of Admissions
  • Veronica Pecero, Associate Director for Access and Inclusion, Office of Admissions
  • Shelley Payne, Advisor to the Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, College of Natural Sciences, Professor
  • Monique Pikus, Director of Diversity and Organizational Climate, College of Liberal Arts
  • Ya’Ke Smith, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Moody College of Communication, Associate Professor
  • Vallery Valle, Student

Communications Engagement Working Group

  • Luis Zayas, Co-chair, Dean, Steve Hicks School of Social Work
  • Octavio Martinez, Co-chair, Executive Director for the Hogg Foundation, faculty at Dell Medical School
  • Victor Saenz, Department chair, Education Leadership and Policy, College of Education, Professor
  • Leticia Acosta, Director for Diversity Inclusion and Outreach, McCombs School of Business
  • John Morán González, Director at Center for Mexican American Studies, College of Liberal Arts, Professor
  • Milagros Lopez, Director of Partnerships, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
  • Norma Guerra-Gaier, Executive Director of Texas Career Engagement
  • Angela Valenzulea, Director at Center for Education Policy, College of Education, Professor
  • Joey Williams, Director of Communications, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
UT Austin Recruitment and Retention Inclusion Effort

More information about the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts from Enrollment Management and Student Success

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