Dr. LaToya Smith Named Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
Dr. LaToya Smith will lead the DDCE as the new vice president for diversity and community engagement. Having served for the past three years as senior associate director for Student Services in Texas Athletics, Smith has been responsible for establishing one of the strongest student support networks in all of college athletics. Her work has been instrumental to supporting student athletes’ academic development and success.
Prior to her role in Texas Athletics, Smith served as the university’s associate vice president and Title IX coordinator. Between 2008 and 2015, she held the roles of assistant and associate dean of students at UT Austin. As a pioneer in strategic planning in higher education, she has been instrumental in developing many campus resources and programs such as Student Emergency Services, the Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL) and Student Veteran Services. As a faculty member in the College of Education, she also teaches Higher Education Law and Student Affairs.
“Under LaToya’s leadership, we will build on the current foundation of our diversity and community engagement efforts,” said UT President Jay Hartzell in an announcement released on Friday, Dec. 11. “Make no mistake, this is a priority for the university and for me personally.”
Smith will replace Dr. Leonard N. Moore, the university’s second vice president for diversity and community engagement, who is leaving to take on a new initiative in the President’s Office to develop deeper and more productive partnerships between UT Austin and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association (PVILCA).
“Our opportunity to build stronger bridges to the HBCUs is paramount to the success of our diversity and inclusion efforts at UT,” Moore stated in the announcement released by President Hartzell. “ I am passionate about this effort and excited to focus my efforts more intently on these partnerships. Dr. Smith is the right person to lead the DDCE team’s great work on campus and in the community and further expand our efforts in creating a welcoming and inclusive campus environment.”
We thank Dr. Moore for his many years of outstanding service to the DDCE. Under his leadership, Services for Students with Disabilities increased capacity and study abroad became an important initiative for students from diverse backgrounds. The division’s services for students also expanded to include career development initiatives. Dr. Moore often said, “We not only want all students to graduate, but to graduate with options.”