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University of Texas at Dallas

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
800 W Campbell Rd
Richardson, Texas 75080
(972) 883-2111
Email address
School Information
UT Dallas is a top public university located in one of the nation’s fastest-growing metropolitan regions. Our eight schools offer more than 140 undergraduate and graduate programs, plus professional certificates and fast-track programs. Created by bold visionaries and tech pioneers, UT Dallas has nurtured generations of innovators in its first 50 years. Our roots go back to the 1960s when the three founders of Texas Instruments — Eugene McDermott, Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green — established the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest as a source of advanced research and trained scientists to benefit the state and the nation.
General Information
The University of Texas at Dallas has taken extensive steps to implement the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion as a cornerstone of university functions. The university has operated with a diversity and community engagement officer since 2007, but in 2020, following the death of George Floyd, UT Dallas launched the “Living Our Values Task Force” to increase adherence to DEI. UT Dallas now has various committees (such as the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) run by faculty, staff, and students with overlapping goals. These goals include increasing non-white enrollment and hiring, hosting DEI events, establishing race-based scholarships and new curriculum, training the community, offering workshops, and requiring more transparency from its campus police department. These recommendations and goals are actively being rolled out by President Benson who expressly committed the university to DEI over the summer of 2020. The university also sponsored an event on critical race theory and invited the co-founder of Black Lives Matter to speak. UT Dallas’ library promotes anti-racist books such as “How to Be an Antiracist” and “White Fragility.” See below for developments:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • After the death of George Floyd, UT Dallas created the "Living Our Values Task Force." The task force recommended UT Dallas "Expand outreach and recruitment efforts for underrepresented student populations with an emphasis on schools in the Dallas Independent School District and surrounding districts in historically underserved communities."
  • Ruqiya Barreh, a former student, co-chairs the McDermott student equity committee. "One of the committee's primary goals is to remove the test score requirement (for merit-based scholarships), with the goal of allowing a more diverse pool of applicants to qualify for consideration."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • After the death of George Floyd, UT Dallas created the "Living Our Values Task Force." The task force recommended UT Dallas "promote cultural intelligence training for all UT Dallas fraternity and sorority members."
  • The Office of DEI started a "diversity and identity-based workshop" with the goal of "expanding our knowledge on cultural appropriation and its difference from appreciation."
  • BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors spoke at a panel discussion in 2020.
  • UT Dallas's Anti-Racist Teach-In Series had a webinar titled "White Supremacy, Merit Scholarships, and UTD" that was hosted on July 28, 2020. In the conversation, students and community members discussed how UT Dallas has "allocated funding for merit at the expense of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, disabled, low-income, and first-generation students." They advocated for the end of standardized test scores in admissions and scholarships, holistic admissions that consciously accommodate underrepresented students, and diverting merit funds to supporting a more diverse and equitable student body.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • UT Dallas created the "Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion." The Office will "apply the following strategies to integrate diversity into UT Dallas' overall mission and strategic vision for diversity: Enhance diversity; Enhance retention, promotion and graduation; Improve climate of internal community; Celebrate culture and diversity and improve communication; Integrate diversity into the academic curriculum"
  • The Living Our Values Task Force recommended UT Dallas "Develop and approve proposals for new minors in African and African diaspora studies and/or ethnic studies as a first step toward exploring degree programs in these areas." President Benson plans to implement this minor.
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • After the death of George Floyd, UT Dallas created the "Living Our Values Task Force." The task force recommended UT Dallas "Commit to providing additional diversity and inclusion training for faculty and staff, especially supervisors."
  • The Office of DEI is tasked with "Diversifying the faculty and staff" as "one of our office's major goals." The Office writes, "Faculty and staff diversity is critical for our students' education."
  • UT Dallas created Employee Resource Groups (ERG) with the mission to "create value by attracting, developing and retaining faculty, staff and students from diverse demographic groups, while providing educational awareness, professional development and enrichment to the UT Dallas culture."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • The Office of DEI sponsored an event called "CONSTITUTION DAY 2021: Free Speech: Let's Talk About Critical Race Theory." The event was also sponsored by the "BLM Planning Committee."
  • After Texas Senate Bill 17--which requires Texas colleges and universities to end DEI programs--was passed, UT Dallas President said in August 2023 that employees in the school’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will keep their jobs when the state’s new anti-DEI law goes into effect in January.
Program and Research Funding
  • The Office of DEI offers a Diversity Ambassador Program to allow students to "get involved with social justice planning, create workshops, and get involved with the Multicultural Center."
  • UT Dallas offers Annual Diversity Awards to "recognize individuals who have committed to embracing, enhancing, and celebrating diversity at all levels of the University of Texas at Dallas." The nominations are "evaluated by a committee appointed by the Vice President of Diversity and Community Engagement." The scholarship is $1,000.
  • "The Office of the President and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion created the Diversity Scholars Program in 2010-2011 to increase the diversity of students enrolling at UT Dallas. The scholarship targets students who have a record of academic excellence in high school or community college and show significant financial need." Each student who is selected must "participate in regular Diversity Scholars Program academic check-in meetings" and "volunteer at least five hours for the Office of DEI each semester." The scholarship is "$5,000 per year for a maximum of eight semesters of undergraduate study."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • The Living Our Values Task Force recommended UT Dallas require its police department to submit "quarterly reports from the chief of police on arrests, use-of-force incidents, citations issued and any complaints made against UTD officers." The UTDPD must also engage in "outreach opportunities" and "host a forum for the public to ask questions of UTDPD leadership at least twice per year."
  • The Office of DEI has five strategic goals: Develop and communicate a collective and inclusive understanding of diversity and its benefits across campus; Create a welcoming campus climate to foster a culture that promotes and celebrates diversity at UT Dallas and to attract and retain a diversity of talented people at all levels. Recruit, retain and graduate a diverse student body. Develop diversity education and training. Build partnerships to address the educational needs and diversity challenges of the community.
  • The Office of DEI has three standing committees, including the "Student Diversity Advisory Council," the "Diversity Advisory Council," and the "Committee for the Support of Diversity and Equity."
  • In June 2007, UT Dallas announced the appointment of Dr. Magaly Spector as first vice president for diversity and community engagement.
  • "The Department of Institutional Diversity Initiatives supports and enhances the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s communication infrastructure. This website is designed to improve public awareness of UT Dallas’ institutional diversity initiatives throughout the year, including but not limited to the diversity lecture series, diversity awareness pieces of training, and other educational activities."
  • The Eugene McDermott Library provides "Social Justice and Anti-Racist Titles" with book recommendations such as "White Fragility," "How to Be an Antiracist," and "Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race."
  • The University of Texas at Dallas Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is hosting a variety of events this September including “Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff. Featuring local performing artist IDANIA,” and “Operation I Am: Black Student Leadership Weekend.”
  • UT Dallas' library has an anti-racism resource page with links to books such as “So You Want To Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo, “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, and “How To Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi.
  • The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team compiled a DEI-focused educational resources, recommending books such as "The New Jim Crow", "White Rage", and "Algorithms of Oppression".
  • The university has a Black Faculty and Staff Alliance and Latino Faculty and Staff Alliance.
  • Housed under the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Equity Ambassadors support campus-wide DEI initiatives, lead DEI strategic planning efforts, and serve as a "DEI champion" for various stakeholders.
  • The UT Dallas G-Force Mentor Program is a "near-peer" student mentoring program that serves underrepresented students at 14 high schools in North Texas.
  • The Equity Policy Education department will lead and collaborate with administrative and academic units at the university on "learning and development programs that advance the university’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategic priorities."
  • UT Dallas also have Employee and Student Equity Initiatives that strive to advance the university's DEI strategic priorities.
Symbolic Actions
  • Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Gene Fitch Jr., released a statement after the death of George Floyd saying he was "angry and upset about the senseless and tragic attacks and violence against Black Americans." He "recognizes" the "feeling of frustration and helplessness" that Black Americans feel from the "hostility and inequality...on a daily basis."
  • The Office of Diversity and Community Engagement (ODCE) issued a statement after the death of George Floyd condemning racism as a "systemic issue in America."
  • The University of Texas at Dallas’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion held their 13th annual Diversity Awards in June 2022. This ceremony is used to recognize “the contributions of faculty, staff, students, and community partners [who are] advance[ing] the UT Dallas diversity mission, goals, and programs…” This year’s theme was “Shinning the Light: Promoting Inclusion through Unity” – a theme designed to “celebrate and highlight how diversity enables and empowers our community to reach the highest levels of excellence.”
  • The Dallas Morning News wrote an article about how Black undergraduates at UT Dallas are "powering a push against systemic racism on campus."
Last updated November 23rd, 2023
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