Over the fall 2020 semester, the LBJ School created three new initiatives further supporting its commitment to fostering a diverse school composition:
- Established the Pipeline to Policy program, in which LBJ students are funded to offer one-on-one mentoring sessions to prospective minority students/applicants.
- Launching in spring 2020 a targeted minority student recruitment event, inviting minority students across Texas who are college juniors and seniors to attend an informational and admissions event.
- Established a new tuition fellowship.
- Launched a mentorship program specifically for alumni and students of color.
LBJ School leadership has committed to increasing its faculty diversity and has signed on to the concrete steps from the provost's office to attract and recruit diverse faculty.
The composition of the LBJ School is not representative of our nation and less so of the demographic makeup of the state of Texas. The school and the university have a long way to go. In implementing its Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan from 2017, the LBJ School has made tangible strides in its minority and recruitment and outreach efforts.
The CDO and the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions (OSAA), under the leadership of the associate dean for students, have pursued a three-pronged strategy to build a more diverse student body that embodies the LBJ school's commitment to equity and inclusion.
- Expanding student recruitment through formal channels (e.g., working with policy organizations such as APSIA, PPIA and CHCI), as well as informal and personal channels.
- Implementing a more equitable process of admissions, with the associate dean for students reformulating the admissions process to be holistic. Research has consistently shown that zeroing in on GRE scores disadvantages minority and students as a result of systemic racism impacts our educational system as well as stereotype threat.
- Engagement with admitted students to actively recruit students to accept their LBJ offers.
Strategies that are in the process of being developed and funded include:
- Travel stipends to sponsor prospective students of color for Admitted Students Weekend
- A coordinated outreach and recruitment campaign with LBJ student groups and prospective students of color
The LBJ School, together with the larger UT Austin campus and colleges and universities across the nation, recognizes its lack of faculty diversity. Growth in this area has been slower, but recent tenure-track and non-tenure-track hires place the LBJ School on a solid footing moving forward.
The LBJ School will aggressively pursue the objectives set out by the UT executive vice president and provost's "Faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan." In conjunction with the university's central administration, the LBJ School will continue its efforts to attract, recruit and promote a diverse faculty.* Short-term, localized and concrete steps that have been and are currently being put into place include:
- Conducting diversity training for all search committee members;
- Including diversity statement from all candidates;
- Framing the disciplinary scope of each faculty search as broadly as possible;
- Advertising searches in venues frequented by diverse candidates;
- Monitoring the pool of applicants by LBJ dean and/or CDO; and
- Establishing diversity as a key criterion of approved cluster hire searches.
* The LBJ School has as yet not conducted any searches, but has 100% commitment from its leadership to follow these concrete steps for a new search to ensure the build-out of diverse faculty.