In summer 2009, President William C. Powers Jr. requested that the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement and Vice President for Student Affairs investigate whether the university’s dispute resolution procedures were sufficient to handle any outbreaks of hateful or violent speech in a coordinated, campus-wide manner; how diversity programming on campus could be more robust; and how best to advance diversity on campus.
As part of this charge, in fall 2009 the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement created the Campus Climate Response Work Group, composed of representatives from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) and the Division of Student Affairs. The group’s final report recommended creating a response team to ensure a more coordinated campus-wide response to incidents of bias and hate.
In spring 2011, President Powers requested that the Campus Climate Response Team (CCRT) be established. It was officially launched in March 2012. Comprised of a group of staff members from across the university, the CCRT facilitates appropriate responses to reports of campus climate incidents affecting the UT Austin community and serves as a repository for reports of bias.
The team reports to the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, and it is jointly coordinated through the DDCE and the Division of Student Affairs. The primary goal of the CCRT is to create a more inclusive welcoming university community by connecting individuals to the appropriate resources when bias incidents occur and by developing short- and long-term responses in partnership with university departments. Through the work of the CCRT, gaps in UT Austin’s policies and procedures can be identified and addressed.
The core functions of the CCRT include:
- Receiving reports and coordinating responses
- Supporting individuals involved
- Identifying resources and connecting individuals as appropriate
- Coordinating, when appropriate, activities with other campus-wide entities
- Evaluating the response process following each incident report
- Exchanging information between the CCRT and team members’ departments
- Keeping track of bias incident trends
CCRT members include representatives from the DDCE, the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and University Operations (see listing page 2). Depending upon the campus climate incident, representatives from other university offices and departments, as well as the Austin community, may be considered in the process of responding to a particular report.
Lead Team Members
- Edna Dominguez, Assistant Vice President, Division of Student Affairs
- Liz Elsen, Director, Gender and Sexuality Center
- Brandelyn Flunder, Director, Multicultural Engagement Center
- Dr. Justin Samuel, Assistant Director for Residential Life, Housing and Dining
- Dr. Audrey Sorrells, Associate Dean of Students for Research, Office of the Dean of Students; Associate Professor, College of Education
- Dr. Ryan Sutton, Director, Heman Sweatt Center for Black Males; Assistant Professor of Practice, College of Education
- *Dr. Betty Jeanne Taylor, Assistant Vice President, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement; Assistant Professor of Practice, College of Education
- Leslie Blair, Executive Director of Communications, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
- Stephanie Bullick, Disability Services Coordinator, Services for Students with Disabilities
- Brooke Bulow, Director of Communications, Division of Student Affairs
- Laura Davis, Captain, University of Texas Police Department
- Margaret Luevano, Interim Director of International Student and Scholar Services, Texas Global
- Javier Ungo, Assistant Director Brief Access and Referral, Counseling and Mental Health Center
*Dr. Taylor serves as CCRT convener and liaison to Dr. Leonard N. Moore, Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
Anyone encountering a situation that requires immediate police, medical, psychological or other emergency services should call 911 or the University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) at 512-471-4441 for assistance, during regular business hours and during the evening, weekends, and holidays.