October 24, 2019
Dear faculty colleagues,
As part of our broader efforts to effectively understand and address faculty equity issues on campus, UT will join 19 peer institutions to develop and strengthen inclusive recruitment, hiring and retention practices for faculty members in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). UT Austin submitted a proposal during the summer to join the network, and I am pleased to share our campus has been selected.
The initiative, the Aspire Alliance, is co-led by The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and funded by the National Science Foundation.
Participating universities will begin with a self-assessment of their current practices, programs and resources. UT Austin will then develop and implement campus action plans to drive change and scale efforts across STEM programs.
Although this initiative is focused on STEM faculty, UT Austin will share lessons and best practices with the broader campus to build upon the various efforts underway to address equity issues. This work will complement the many efforts already happening on campus, in our university-wide equity committees, in our colleges and schools and at the department and unit levels.
Many of the challenges we face in supporting our faculty members are very similar to those at our peer institutions. This partnership provides a focused opportunity to learn from one another, share best practices with the campus, and ensure we’re deliberate in how we foster equity, inclusivity and diversity in our STEM teaching and learning communities. This is an important effort to build upon the great work the campus is already undertaking.
I am committed to working with the campus to better understand and address faculty inequity across campus, and taking real action to do so. Much work remains to be done, and this new partnership will help us learn from our peer institutions and work collaboratively with the campus to make meaningful progress.