Seeking diversity automatically leads us to excellence
just as focusing on excellence inevitably leads us to diversity.
— William C. Steele
Great universities exist for the dual and related purposes of creation and dissemination of knowledge. Increasingly new discoveries, innovations and inventions require collaboration and are accomplished most successfully by diversity of perspective, of knowledge and of approaches. Studies of higher education have revealed that success in preparing students for leadership in our globalized world requires exposure to many cultures, languages, races and philosophies. Briefly summarized, every student prospers when some of their teachers share their background, gender, cultural and ethnic identity, but every student also needs to be challenged by studying with scholars whose background differs from their own. Thus, the optimal achievement of the dual goals of a great university is facilitated by, and dependent upon, recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty.
The University of Texas at Dallas is committed to achieving diversity and inclusion on our campus. This commitment forms the basis for the mission of the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement. This commitment dates from our earliest years and is preserved in a 1965 video of Eric Jonsson, co-founder of UT Dallas and Texas Instruments, and Mayor of Dallas.
The program for faculty diversity is specifically charged with increasing the diversity of our faculty through recruitment and retention, and for promoting diversity in the curriculum and inclusion in our classrooms.
The Department of Faculty Diversity as one of five departments in the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement was created in June, 2007. Dr. Frances J. Freeman, retired faculty, assumed the half-time position as Assistant Vice President for Faculty Diversity in March, 2009. Dr. Emily A. Tobey, Associate Provost, assumed the position as Associate Vice President for Faculty Diversity in 2012. The creation of this Office resulted from the efforts of the University Committee for the Support of Diversity and Equity (formerly the Core Committee or the Support of Women and Minorities) consisting of eleven members, and currently chaired by Dr. Peter Park, Assistant Professor of History. The Department of Faculty Diversity works closely with the University Committee to develop and support programs designed to increase the diversity of our faculty through recruitment and retention, and to ensure that our University provides an inclusive learning and working environment. Diversity at UT Dallas owes a special debt to Dr. Abby Kratz, Associate Provost, who has provided leadership in this endeavor for many years.
Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great. -- Mark Twain