As part of the university’s newly launched 10-year Change Starts Here strategic plan, the DDCE has released the Strategic Direction for its three-year You Belong Here: Plan for an Equitable and Inclusive Campus to foster belonging and amplify the power of the UT Austin community.
“This Plan for an Equitable and Inclusive Campus builds upon the university’s strengths in diversity, equity and inclusion yet encourages us to reach even higher,” said LaToya Smith, vice president for diversity and community engagement. “It reflects an honest assessment of where we are and a commitment to attracting world class talent from all backgrounds to a campus where everyone feels they belong.”
The overarching goal of the Plan for an Equitable and Inclusive Campus is to foster belonging on campus through a focus on equitable access and processes for all. By ensuring that we are a diverse, inclusive campus, we support the university’s goal to become the world’s highest-impact public research university.
As a critical component of this work, President Jay Hartzell asked Dr. Smith to lead the campus-wide effort to update and reinvigorate the university’s strategic planning around equity and inclusion on campus.
“Now is the time for our university to turn ‘What starts here changes the world’ from a statement into a call to action, as we set a bold but wholly achievable aspiration,” Hartzell said.
The Plan for an Equitable and Inclusive Campus includes an aspirational statement and five strategic pillars listed below.
Aspirational Statement: “Empower our students, staff and faculty to individually thrive and to collectively build an inclusive, equitable campus community that embraces diversity of backgrounds and ideas and makes a positive impact on our campus, the state of Texas and beyond.”
- Representation: Build a more diverse talented community of students, staff and faculty
- Equity: Promote equitable access to education, experiences, research and career development opportunities
- Inclusion: Create an authentic, inclusive and accessible campus
- Belonging: Build and support a culture of belonging
- Transparency: Collaborate across campus to increase the transparency of and access to DEI efforts at UT
Under the leadership of Dr. Smith, the planning process was guided and developed by steering and working committees, which included students, faculty, staff and university leaders. The Operational Plan for the Plan for an Equitable and Inclusive Campus, containing detailed goals and metrics, will be released this fall. Visit the official You Belong Here website for more information.