I was honored to assume the role of permanent vice president for diversity and community engagement on July 1. During the year I served as interim vice president, it became clear that the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement needed to look at community engagement and student programming in new ways.
We still have a team of approximately 400 dedicated, talented staff members working on campus and in communities statewide, helping to improve equity and access to the university in many different ways. But, as you’ll see in this issue of ACCESS, our newly renamed magazine, we have adopted new approaches for our work.
First of all, we’re envisioning our work through six ideas: Academic Creativity and Design, Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Community Integrative Health Care, Global Leadership and Social Impact, Community Engagement and Economic Development and University Culture.
Second, we are focused on positively impacting the growth of Austin—to help redefine the gentrification that has been taking place over the past decade and to play a role in developing the future leaders and entrepreneurs who will be driving change. We are aligning with President Gregory L. Fenves’ goals to unlock potential, foster social mobility, improve public health and benefit society. With change comes challenges.
But DDCE staff are thinking creatively, developing new partnerships and learning from those beyond the walls of UT. We want our students and other constituents thinking, “Those folks at UT DDCE made a difference.”