Established by a president who passed the most ambitious civil rights laws in the history of our country, the LBJ School of Public Affairs has long focused on analyzing and addressing the injustices entrenched in our society. But we still have a long way to go in addressing those injustices within our nation and our school, and we share the urgency for concrete initiatives to combat systemic racism and other inequities in our institution. As interim dean, I am committed to a robust agenda for fostering a more diverse, inclusive and supportive LBJ community.
Composition, culture and curriculum have been the cornerstones of our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy. These cornerstones are inextricable; each has a ripple effect on the others and plays an equal role in our progress.
Several activities are already underway to support our new DEI agenda. First, to foster composition that is inclusive, the LBJ School has established new mentorship programs for both current and prospective students of color. Changes in composition will have an impact on our culture. We are committed to cultivating a culture for inclusivity and dialogue through regular student assemblies and meetings with the Chief Diversity Officer, as well as by expanding the DEI Committee to include more school stakeholders. Moreover, to embed DEI issues into a foundational policy framework for the entire student body, we are changing our curriculum and shaping a required DEI course for all LBJ students. This course will aim to ensure that all LBJ students are conversant in the intersections of public policy and DEI. Finally, we are working to cultivate a culture at the LBJ School so that our faculty have the additional support and resources needed to thoughtfully integrate DEI across the curriculum. These efforts, along with others, are outlined below.
Thank you for joining me in this commitment. As we continue to evolve and recalibrate our efforts around DEI, I want to hear directly from the LBJ community on your needs and insights. In the coming months, I will prioritize discussion of these issues in the small group meetings I will be holding with members of our community. I trust that by listening to each other and working together, we will make our school a more just and inclusive space to pursue the changes we wish to see in the world.
David W. Springer
Interim Dean, LBJ School of Public Affairs