Dear UTA Community,
[Recent events] have been transformational for our nation, state, and community. We have grappled with difficult questions about racism, discrimination, and our roles in promoting diversity and inclusion. Here at UTA we have come together to listen, learn, and discuss.
UTA is committed to eradicating racial discrimination and creating a diverse and inclusive campus community. Therefore, we are taking immediate action based on the feedback we have received from our students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
We are creating a vice president-level office directly focusing on matters related to diversity, equity and inclusion. This office will lead UTA’s efforts to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff have an inclusive and welcoming place to work, learn, and live.
We are reconstituting the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. This committee will make recommendations to University leadership on ways UTA can create a more supportive and fairer environment for every member of our community. Our deans and vice presidents will engage their units in identifying candidates for the committee. This committee will be constituted by the Fall 2020 semester.
We are developing a University-wide plan to enhance the recruiting, retention, and promotion of underrepresented faculty and staff. This effort will be led by Faculty Affairs in the Provost’s Office and Human Resources, with involvement from units across the University.
We are creating more scholarships for low-income, first-generation and first-time-in-college students. This effort will be led by Enrollment Management in partnership with Academic Affairs and University Advancement.
We are developing and implementing diversity and inclusion training for all faculty and staff. Our vice president for Human Resources is already working to develop the training, immediately. This initiative will fall under the new Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
We are incorporating diversity content into a required course for all new students. The Provost’s Office, in collaboration with the Division of Student Success, will work with our expert faculty to develop and implement this content.
We are engaging directly with the UTA Police Department to ensure its approaches to community policing are aligned with the core values of our University, and free from unfairness and bias.
We are adding staff and programming in the Office of Multicultural Affairs to enhance the services provided to our students.
Everyone at UTA should feel safe and welcome, and we will act on these steps immediately. In close collaboration and consultation with leaders across the University, as well as our alumni, we are developing additional strategies to combat racism and discrimination, and encourage diversity and inclusion at UTA.
I pledge to you that we will act decisively to fulfill these commitments and will build a timeline to complete all these steps by the fall of 2021 or sooner. As a university dedicated to diversity and inclusion, it’s important for us to continue having a robust dialogue that identifies additional ways we can act to promote a more inclusive campus community. These steps are a beginning; together, we will live up to the ideals set forth in our Principles of Community by ensuring that UTA is a safe, secure, and supportive campus for all.
We will be transparent about our progress and will report regularly to our entire community on our progress toward these goals, as well as any additional strategies that are developed to further our progress.
The events of recent weeks have been illuminating for me and I am making a personal commitment to continue listening and learning. I want each one of you to know that I am open to hearing ideas, to learning about the experiences of others, and to having an open discussion about how we can improve our community. Please feel free to send me an email if you would like to share any thoughts or ideas.
I look forward to engaging with and working alongside each of you in the important work we have before us. We celebrate our diversity, and together we stand united.
Teik C. Lim, Ph.D.
President ad interim