Update on Provost’s Office Initiatives

May 24, 2018 

Dear academic leaders,

With commencement behind us, I hope you are able to find time for a well-deserved break. As leaders, much of the important work that keeps the university moving forward and focused on our mission falls on you. I sincerely appreciate your hard work and commitment, and I value our partnership. Like many of you, I am looking ahead to ensure we are making progress on the many initiatives happening across campus. I want to give you an update on our many efforts in progress.

Global Initiatives

We are conducting a national search to hire a senior vice provost for global engagement, following recommendations from the Global Engagement Task Force. We also conducted an external review of the International Office last fall, and we are taking steps to be more strategic and intentional with our global efforts.

We recently introduced the President’s Award for Global Learning, an exciting new program that provides funding for faculty members and students to design and implement a multidisciplinary project in an international location. The program was created and funded by the International Board of Advisors, and we have seen considerable interest from faculty members and eligible students.

Diversity and Faculty Affairs

Faculty Search Committee Training now available. Modelled after best practices used nationally, the workshops are designed to assist search committees in diversifying applicant pools, building awareness of biases and providing guidance to mitigate their effects, effectively managing searches and ensuring fair and thorough reviews of applicants. We will share dates for new workshops as they are scheduled.

UT Austin is now a member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). Led by Vice Provost for Diversity Ted Gordon, this new resource provides greater access to professional development materials for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students.

The Non-Tenure Track Task Force is implementing two new titles. This task force has been working with the colleges and schools to implement new titles: professor of practice and professor of instruction. These new titles align UT Austin with peer institutions and provide greater flexibility when recruiting and appointing non-tenure track candidates.

Enrollment Management

The First-Generation Commitment Working Group was created this spring. The committee's immediate work will focus on encouraging and supporting the enrollment of first-generation students and easing their transition to UT Austin. This committee will work to provide support — both in relationship and information — to students and their families.

The College to Career Governing Committee started work this spring. Based on recommendations provided by the College to Career Task Force, this committee is working to provide greater support and resources to help students prepare for life after graduation. A national search is currently underway for an executive director of the recently announced Center for Career Exploration and Development.

The Strategic Enrollment Management Faculty Working Group will soon deliver their report. The report produced by this faculty working group will identify the principles to guide future efforts regarding new student enrollment, including issues related to access, accountability, holistic review, diversity, inclusivity, recruitment, student success, and the university’s commitment to students.

The Experiential Learning Working Group submitted its final report. This group submitted a final report and completed its investigation of models for course and program-based experiential learning opportunities in 12 of the colleges and schools at UT Austin. Our goal is that every undergraduate will have the opportunity to participate in high-quality, transformative learning experiences that are integrated into their degree programs.

Thank You

There is a tremendous amount of work happening across campus, and the campus is experiencing a good deal of change. You, our campus leaders, are the one’s tasked with keeping us on track and making sure the important work gets done. Thank you, again, for everything you do, and I hope you are able to enjoy some time to recharge and disconnect this summer.
 

Sincerely,

Maurie McInnis
Executive Vice President and Provost
The University of Texas at Austin