Ten Years, How Time Flies.
When former President William Powers Jr. realigned diversity and community engagement initiatives across the university in 2007, forming the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, UT Austin instantly stood in a class all its own.
With very few peers organized in a similar fashion, the DDCE quickly became a model for other institutions establishing diversity portfolios. As we near our 10-year anniversary, the DDCE now includes more than 50 units and initiatives and 400 community partners, stretching across the state of Texas and beyond.
Under the leadership of President Gregory L. Fenves, our commitment to diversity in all its forms continues. This year, the university celebrated both the 60th anniversary of the admission of the first Black undergraduates as well as the Supreme Court decision in Fisher v. Texas, affirming deference to academic freedom and our holistic admissions policy.
Now the university is developing its first Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. Once finalized, it will impact every college, school and unit on campus.
Looking back, I’ve grown both nostalgic about our past and optimistic for our future. We have accomplished so much, yet I know we have so much more to achieve.
Our current issue of Access and Excellence is dedicated to telling the stories central to creating our unique campus culture that enhances learning for all. The stories are a reflection of our progress here at UT Austin, yet set the stage for what is to come. We include brief oral histories from several of the earliest African American students who left an indelible mark on campus and profiles of current students changing our world.
I’m amazed at what we have been able to accomplish in the DDCE’s first 10 years, but with our innovative students, faculty and staff, I am all the more excited for what is to come.