UTA begins incorporation of new diversity, inclusivity initiatives across campus

The UTA tower sits under the night sky June 24 on the corner of UTA Boulevard and Cooper Street in Arlington.

UTA has taken its first steps toward implementing new strategies that promote a more diverse, welcoming and inclusive campus community, according to an Office of the President email sent Wednesday.

Interim President Teik Lim gave an update on the university's progress regarding eight initiatives developed with feedback from faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Former UTA President Jim Spaniolo will chair a search committee to recruit a new vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Debra Woody, associate professor of social work, and Michele Bobadilla, assistant provost for Hispanic student success, will co-chair the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee composed of faculty and staff from schools, colleges and divisions across campus. The committee held its first meeting last week.

The committee will include standing and ad hoc subcommittees to address relevant concerns. The list of committee members can be found here.

The Division of Faculty Affairs and the Office of Human Resources will lead the development of a universitywide plan to enhance the recruiting, retention and promotion of underrepresented faculty and staff, with input from units across campus.

UTA designated an additional $25 million in scholarships to address student diversity and the financial concerns of first-generation college students. The funds will support students from low-income families and those facing challenges in the wake of COVID-19.

Human Resources is implementing diversity and inclusion training for all faculty and staff. Training will address implicit bias, microaggressions, upstander to bystander, creating welcoming diverse environments, cultural competence and cultural conflicts.

The incorporation of curriculum based on identity, privilege, bias and oppression will be available for new students for the fall and spring semesters.

The UTA Police Department is reviewing departmental policies ensuring they are aligned with the core values of the university and free from unfairness and bias. Officers will receive additional training in diversity, racial profiling and implicit bias during the upcoming fall and spring semesters.

A staff position in the Office of Multicultural Affairs has been filed to focus on expanding the Maverick Advantage program and support services for UTA’s diverse student population.

“As I mentioned before, these steps are just a starting point,” Lim said. “As we move forward, we will continue to explore new ways of improving our campus community.”

UTA will continue to provide updates, and a new website has been launched to show the progress of each initiative.

Lim urges the campus community to send questions and further suggestions related to diversity, equity and inclusion to diversity@uta.edu.

@david___a23

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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