UTSA Equity Advocacy Initiative
Through the Equity Advocacy Initiative, UTSA will develop an overarching framework for implementing the recommendations put forth by the 21st Century Learning Environments Task Group to foster healthy and inclusive learning environments. The initiative will formally connect those efforts to the work of tactical teams on degree pathways and higher education access as a part of our fundamental commitment to diversity, inclusion and the success of UTSA students.
In support of the initiative, UTSA’s colleges and academic support divisions will develop new and enhance existing activities to advance diversity, inclusion and justice.
Initiatives in the College of Architecture, Construction & Planning and College of Engineering
Diversity in the Workplace Speaker Series: We are exploring ways to facilitate conversations between students and faculty – and tie it to career development. One example: we are creating Diversity in the Workplace where the Student Success Center will partner with departments to sponsor a speaker regarding the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace . The sponsoring department will invite Intro and Senior Design classes (for credit – see below) as well as faculty. We anticipate 5-6 being held over the school year.
Recognizing service for advocacy in equity and inclusion: The Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (DIAC) has existed in COE for 3 years but is being extended between the two colleges and continues to develop policies around diversity and inclusion. Last year they conducted a climate survey, and this year we will be investigating how service around advocacy for equity and inclusion (especially by URM faculty and staff) can be valued and recognized in annual evaluations and other venues. We also seek to infuse conversations around equity and inclusion throughout our curricula – which are now being brought into our accreditation boards.
Infusing equity and inclusion in our curricula: We look to include discussions throughout our curricula, and indeed the accreditation boards for Engineering and Architecture have already included equity and inclusion outcomes for our next round of accreditation. This year we will include a Diversity and Inclusion Statement in all syllabi, and freshman and senior classes will include attendance at Diversity in the Workplace Speaker Series as part of their course objectives and outcomes. This leads to new work with the DIAC and leadership to infuse these conversations at key and opportune parts of each program.