We are continuing and expanding upon recruitment and retention efforts aimed at improving the way our college supports people with marginalized identities.

In particular, we are working to:

  • diversify our faculty and support faculty who demonstrate past or potential contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion within their research, teaching and/or service, including by developing postdoc-to-faculty bridge programs and assuring dedicated resources for new hires.
  • extend a welcome mat to students from historically marginalized populations through: coordination of cross-campus recruitment events; expansion of summer research opportunities for prospective undergraduate and graduate students; reevaluation of application practices (such as standardized tests and application fees) that may unnecessarily stand in the way of qualified and talented students seeking admission; and allocating appropriate resources for fellowships, scholarships, new hires and affiliated outreach efforts.

Examples of Progress:

  • Hired a new Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator in CNS Undergraduate Education who will connect to prospective students and communities with historically excluded identities in STEM Education and support bilingual recruitment strategies.
  • Partnered with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost for the Provost Early Career Fellowship in partnership with the Departments of Integrative Biology, Neuroscience, Astronomy, and Molecular Biosciences.
  • Initiated multiple efforts to attract, recruit and employ a diverse faculty and/or faculty who demonstrate past or potential contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion within their research, teaching and/or service.
  • Reevaluated standard admissions practices with equity implications, such as the GRE requirement for graduate program admissions. University-wide the GRE was suspended as a requirement during the pandemic, and five departments have successfully instated permanent waivers.
  • Partnered with colleagues in the Jackson School of Geosciences for recruitment events that serve students with historically excluded identities from the STEM fields.
  • Saw departments and individual units take steps forward related to recruitment and retention as individuals were:
  • Partnered with Austin Community College on new co-enrollment opportunities in biotechnology training and in STEM teaching certification.

Priorities for the future:

  • Further enhance summer research opportunities for undergraduates and prospective graduate students from underrepresented populations in the mode of the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences’ program.
  • Expand new partnerships with Austin Community College and with the Dell Medical School on pathway programs to support career success for CNS students from underrepresented populations.