5 things to know about the University of Texas' new diversity and inclusion plan

The University of Texas at Austin removed four Confederate statues from its campus on Sunday night.

The University of Texas at Austin removed four Confederate statues from its campus on Sunday night.

The University of Texas at Austin will take a look at how its administrators, faculty, staff and students address diversity and inclusion through a new plan released today.

The purpose of the plan, according to University President Gregory Fenves, is to give students, faculty and staff of all backgrounds an "exemplary experience."

It was developed during the past six months through input from university and student stakeholders, a news release said.

“Just as the university has a master campus plan for its physical spaces, we wanted to develop a comprehensive plan to guide the institution as it supports a more diverse and inclusive campus culture,” said Gregory Vincent, the vice president for diversity and community engagement and one of the plan's developers. "This plan strengthens these efforts and helps make certain we are all doing our part to build a strong, inclusive culture where all members of the community are respected and the educational experience for our students is enhanced by diverse people, scholarship and ideas.”

The diversity and inclusion plan follows UT's Hate and Bias Incident Policy, released last month to address discrimination, bigotry and intolerance on campus.

The plan focuses on eight areas: University leadership, staff, students, faculty, communication, campus climate and culture, alumni and community and pre-K-12 partnerships.

Here are five things you should know about the plan:

1. Investments will be made to bring more student housing for freshmen

To give students the "first-year experience," UT wants to invest in more on-campus housing for freshmen. In addition, the plan says more accessible student housing for disabled students and LGBTQA students is needed.

2. It will create a long-term transportation plan

The plan seeks to create a committee to review campus transportation and develop a five-year transportation plan that will go into effect at the conclusion of the university's contract with Capital Metro in 2020.

3. It calls for more faculty and staff inclusion training

Faculty teaching Cultural Diversity Flag courses will have to complete inclusive training to show professors understand diverse perspectives. The plan says more professional development and tutorials on inclusion are also needed.

4. It will establish a university-wide testing center

The university's Services for Students with Disability office has seats for 15 students to be tested at once. The plan calls for a new centralized testing center that would provide more space for disabilities testing.

5. It calls for renewed student recruitment and admissions efforts

The plans state UT will expand minority outreach and recruitment programs as well as include early financial aid packages in recruitment efforts. It will also take a look at the university's admissions process as a whole.

Nearly 20 years ago, the top 10 percent rule was established in an effort to make Texas public universities' student bodies more diverse. The state law guarantees admission to public universities to students who graduate in the top 10 percent of a Texas high school class.
By Marie Albiges
Marie Albiges was the editor for the San Marcos, Buda and Kyle edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She covered San Marcos City Council, San Marcos CISD and Hays County Commissioners Court. Marie previously reported for the Central Austin edition. Marie moved to Austin from Williamsburg, Va. in 2016 and was born in France. She has since moved on from Community Impact in May 2018.


City Council's April 22 vote decoupled some jobs and services from the Austin Police Department and will provide for the creation of a new emergency communications department to handle city 911 calls. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
City Council OKs shifting hundreds of jobs, range of admin duties out of Austin Police Department

More than 280 full-time employees with responsibilities ranging from handling 911 calls to maintenance and human resources will move out of the APD.

Austin ISD trustees approved a resolution April 22 regarding federal education funding currently being held by the state. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD asks state to provide school districts with CARES Act funding earmarked for education spending

Trustee Lynn Boswell said Austin ISD stands to get about $240 million in federal funding if distributed by the state to public districts as intended.

Photo of nurses offering drive-thru vaccines
Appointments no longer needed for drive-thru vaccines at Circuit of the Americas

From April 23-25, people age 16 and up can receive first doses of the Pfizer vaccine without an appointment at COTA.

Austin ISD staff at Pleasant Hill Elementary School distribute meals over the summer in 2020. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD to again offer free lunch to students during 2021-22 school year

Austin ISD has distributed more than 3 million free campus meals and 4.2 million free curbside meals since March 2020.

Q2 Stadium in North Austin
Q2 Stadium to host 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup games this summer

Q2 Stadium has been selected as one of the venues for the upcoming 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.

The Barks for Beers fundraiser will return to Central Texas in May. (Courtesy Divine Canines)
To-do list: Barks for beers returns to Austin and more local events happening through the end of May

Here are nine events taking place between April 24 and May 31 in Austin.

Construction of the new Tom Fazio-designed golf course in Driftwood will be completed by the end of the spring. (Courtesy Discovery Builders)
Driftwood Golf and Ranch Club could open Southwest Austin course this fall

Driftwood Golf and Ranch Club broke ground in 2019 and at build-out will include a golf course, single-family homes and community amenities.

Austin City Council members met for a work session April 20 ahead of the body's regular April 22 session. (Screenshot via city of Austin)
Austin City Hall notebook: Police services decoupling, rental assistance, downtown density bonus fees under consideration

Council will also consider a resolution that would ask state agencies to begin the distribution of about $18 billion in federal aid money aimed at supporting K-12 education.

The DSISD board of trustees heard a presentation on teacher pay at a recent meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Dripping Springs ISD considers teacher compensation ahead of budget-planning process

The DSISD board of trustees heard a presentation on teacher pay at a recent meeting.

Online retailer Wayfair will open a new engineering office in Austin later this year or in early 2022. (Courtesy Wayfair)
Wayfair bringing new engineering office to Austin; beauty studio celebrates opening and more South Austin business news

Wayfair has not yet finalized a space for its new office, but job postings list Southeast Austin as a location.

As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

Austin government, nonprofit and business leaders recently participated in a weeks-long summit centered on unsheltered homelessness in the city. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house 3,000 homeless individuals in Austin in the next three years would cost $515 million

The plan Austin City Council members discussed April 20 emerged from a weekslong community-wide summit on homelessness.