Definitions

For the purposes of our conversations within the Texas iSchool community, we define diversity and inclusion as follows:

      • Diversity refers to differences across a group of people (for example, in gender identity, religion, race, age, or veteran status) that derive from demographic traits or life experiences. Most lists of diversity dimensions that we examined are representative and not exhaustive because people may differ on any number of dimensions.
      • Inclusion describes the acceptance of, respect for, reflection of, and engagement of diverse peoples and the beliefs, values, and perspectives they may hold.

Recruitment efforts often focus on diversity, whereas inclusion is a common concern for retention. Diversity begins as a matter of representation (the range of traits and life experiences among us) while inclusion is a matter of a welcome environment for a diverse group of people (quality of our climate for each of us).

Dean's Statement

Dear iSchool community,

At the School of Information, we put human values at the heart of what we do. Those values include respecting each other by supporting diversity and inclusion, and are reflected in our commitment to provide a supportive environment for everyone who is, or wishes to become, part of our community. Diversity means different things to different people, but includes respect for others from various backgrounds, cultures, genders, orientations, socio-economic statuses, nationalities, religions, beliefs, abilities, and other visible and invisible aspects of what makes each person unique. Our commitment to inclusion demands that we embrace our differences, and draw upon the strength that engaging with diverse perspectives and experiences brings. We are a community of scholars, and our scholarly dialogue is enriched when we are challenged to think in new ways about ourselves and others. At the School of Information, diversity and inclusion is not a check-box exercise that will be completed, but an ongoing commitment to seek out new voices and perspectives, to challenge ourselves to understand the viewpoints of others, to celebrate diversity, and to create a supportive environment for students, faculty, staff, friends, and colleagues. At those points in our journey where we fall short of this goal, we will learn from our mistakes and improve the School going forward. It is my great good fortune to be the Dean of the iSchool, and my honor to welcome all who can enhance our community through your participation.

Warm regards,
Eric T. Meyer
Mary R. Boyvey Chair, Louis T. Yule Regents Professor, and Dean of the iSchool

Resources

Courses

Beyond courses and course material in the Texas iSchool related to diversity and inclusion, a broad range of courses across the university speaks to these issues. Below we include just a sample of those courses; you can find more by checking the course listings of these departments or schools plus others at the university. We list here upper-division and graduate-level courses. Check with your advisor if you have any concerns or questions about whether you may apply any of these courses to your degree program.

Division of Diversity and Community Engagement:

The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) works with a broad range of student, faculty, staff and community constituents to help make The University of Texas at Austin a national model for diversity in higher education. Learn about events, activities, programs, opportunities and resources directly related to diversity issues at DDCE's website.

Dataset Sources:

Reading Lists:

Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Constituted by the School of Information (Texas iSchool) Dean Andrew Dillon and drawing from Provost Maurie McInnis’s charge, our diversity and inclusion committee focused our efforts in 2017, our initial year, on issues of climate and recruitment.

Because these efforts represent our school’s first formal, concerted, and integrated initiative on matters of diversity and inclusion, we opted not to create a diversity statement or to establish goals and metrics for our endeavor. We thought that doing so would rob us of an exploratory beginning, one in which we might initiate a wide-reaching and enduring conversation about diversity and inclusion across our school to determine what issues we face rather than landing too quickly on solutions to presumed problems. Instead, we began that conversation and documented what we learned from it.

Based on that learning, we made recommendations for our school, specific requests of the Provost, and plans for AY 2017-2018. Details appear in our 2017 Report to the Provost. We appreciate the Provost’s willingness, as Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Janet Dukerich reaffirmed, to tailor our approach to our school rather than to model our efforts against prior ones by other schools or universities.

As we continue our work on diversity and inclusion, we will update this page to reflect new events, resources, scholarships, and the like. We’re committed at the Texas iSchool to increasing our diversity and creating an inclusive community that welcomes all students, staff, faculty, and friends of the school.

Diversity and Inclusion Committee members:

    • Amelia Acker, Assistant Professor, Committee Chair
    • Jakki Bailey, Assistant Professor, Faculty representative
    • Sam Burns, Senior IT Manager, Staff representative
    • Nadina Sandlin, Public Affairs Specialist, Staff representative
    • Monica Cho, MSIS student representative
    • Islam Akef Ebeid, Doctoral student representative
    • Kathleen Krysher, MSIS student representative
    • Elisabeth Long, MSIS student representative
    • Matthew Moore, MSIS student representative
    • Andrea Gutierrez, MSIS student representative
    • Diane Bailey, Associate Professor, Recruitment for the School of Information

Past Events

  • Web accessibility and inclusiveness Hackaton
  • Social gatherings for graduate students
  • Racial Geography Tour with Dr. Ted Gordon
  • One Book One School
  • Graduate student skills share workshops
  • Support for travel conferences
  • Career workshops
  • Diversity paper awards
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