The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement Announces Release of Impact Report
AUSTIN, Texas--The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at The University of Texas at Austin has just released its 2008 Impact Report. The report, which is the first of its kind for the recently expanded and restructured division, introduces the divisions staff and outlines its initiatives and recent achievements.
The DDCE was created by President William Powers Jr. in June 2006 to increase the universitys diversity efforts. Powers has emphasized that diversity is one of his highest priorities, including it as one of four pillars in his strategic plan for the university. Since its inception, the DDCE has expanded from six staff members to a division of over 350 employees in 15 departments and several research and policy institutes. With the expansion of the division, The University of Texas at Austin established one of the most comprehensive units of its kind in higher education.
According to the report, the DDCE has targeted four strategic areas for its efforts: Thematic Initiatives and Community Engagement, Pre-College Youth Development and Student Diversity Initiatives, Institutional Equity and School Partnerships. Within these units, there have been notable accomplishments. Through the division's thematic recruitment initiative, approximately 30 new faculty hires from historically underrepresented groups have occurred, continuing to diversify the university community. In addition, the pre-college outreach center in Houston touted five valedictorians this past year in five of its six target high schools.
As well, several of the DDCEs programs have recently received state and national recognition. The Texas Center for Education Policy helped craft a successful $120 million legislative package designed to sharply reduce the states high school dropout rate and expand support networks for at-risk students. Excelencia, a national campaign which honors departments boosting Latino college enrollment and performance, selected the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium as one of the top three programs at graduate-degree granting institutions. The DDCEs TRIO Student Support Services program was awarded the prestigious Ronald E. McNair Scholars grant by the U.S. Department of Education. The Chronicle of Higher Education also spotlighted the DDCE in its Campus Viewpoints section for the divisions innovative programs and its commitment to community involvement.
Our divisions progress has been dramatic over the last year and a half, said Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement. In many ways, our successes are best represented by our divisions broad reach. Through strategic programming in areas that range from pre-college youth development to post-graduate research, our initiatives prove that achievement knows no cultural bounds.