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As we commit to equity, a strategy identified by the College of Natural Sciences Action Team and where we are focusing is on:

Continuing and expanding upon recruitment and retention efforts aimed at improving the way our college supports people with marginalized identities such as Black, indigenous and people of color.

  • diversify our faculty by developing postdoc-to-faculty bridge programs; assuring dedicated resources for new hires; and planning a new visiting scholars’ program
  • extend a welcome mat to students of color through: coordination of cross-sector 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 and outreach efforts.

Examples of Progress:

  • 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, and Astronomy.
  • Initiated multiple efforts to attract, recruit, and employ a diverse faculty and/or faculty who demonstrate past or potential contributions to DEI 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 three departments have successfully instated permanent waivers.
  • Saw departments and individual units take steps forward related to recruitment and retention, such as:

Priorities for the future:

  • Introduce a faculty visiting scholars’ program
  • Further enhance summer research opportunities for prospective graduate students from underrepresented populations in the mode of the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences’ program
  • Partner with Austin Community College and with the Dell Medical School on pathways programs to support career success for CNS students from underrepresented populations