In June 2006, the University's Core Committee for the Support of Women and Minorities (presently the Committee for the Support of Diversity and Equity) prepared a position description and created a set of qualifications for a Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Opportunity with the following vision:
Faculty, staff, administration, employees and students at The University of Texas at Dallas should believe that the University seeks to harbor them and provide an environment that openly welcomes contributions from all its members.
The committee's proposal to create a position for a chief university officer for diversity and equity, and a fully functioning department, was submitted to President David E. Daniel for cabinet consideration in April 2007. The position would report directly to the President and would be charged with all matters related to the creation of a diverse community of scholars, students, staff and advisors to foster inclusiveness and opportunity. Subsequent deliberation expanded the purview of the proposed office to include direct responsibility for community engagement. In June 2007, the University announced the appointment of Dr. Magaly Spector as UT Dallas' first Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement.
The Office of Diversity and Community Engagement (ODCE) would provide leadership for diversity initiatives throughout the University; develop institutional policies and procedures that improve and strengthen the University's efforts to promote diversity; nurture a culture of respect, inclusion and support; and represent the University before external and internal constituencies on issues regarding diversity, gender and equal opportunity. The ODCE would seek to articulate the University's vision by leading efforts to enhance and maintain diversity and opportunity at UT Dallas. The ODCE would engage the public, students, faculty and community leaders in issues relating to access, inclusion and multiculturalism.
The ODCE would be charged with implementing strategies and activities that support UT Dallas' overall mission and vision to enhance diversity; increase retention, promotion and graduation of underrepresented minorities and women; improve the climate of the internal community; and integrate diversity into the academic curriculum.