The University of Texas at Dallas is announcing the formation of a new “Living Our Values” Task Force that will focus on issues of systemic racism, inherent bias, equity, diversity, access and inclusion within the campus community.
The task force’s objectives will include reviewing and analyzing all aspects of campus life. This will be done in consultation with a broad-based community of students, faculty and staff.
“This task force is vital for the advancement of our University. I am asking the team to have candid conversations and develop recommendations that make UT Dallas a better, more inclusive and respectful place for all to live and learn,” said UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson, the Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership.
Dr. George Fair, vice president for diversity and community engagement and dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (IS), will co-chair the task force along with Rafael Martín, UT Dallas vice president and chief of staff.
“Through the Living Our Values Task Force, we can come together and take action to address inequality and racial bias,” Fair said. “Together, we can enhance the University’s efforts to provide an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued and where each member of our community is treated with dignity and respect.”
Martín said, “I am eager to meet with these students, faculty, and staff and the many others we will consult in the coming weeks to develop recommendations and implement real, positive change for UT Dallas. Our charge and our task are significant, and I look forward to our first meeting in the coming days and to getting our work underway.”
Representing the faculty are Ted Benavides, associate professor of practice of public and nonprofit management in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS); Dr. Rashaunda Henderson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science; and Dr. Toyah Miller, associate professor of organizations, strategy and international management in the Naveen Jindal School of Management (JSOM).
Representing the students are Jenelle Boyce, a healthcare studies junior in IS; Safwan Chowdhury, a junior in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication; Arlene Gyimah, a political science senior in EPPS; and Chizuruoke Ukachi-Nwata, a speech-language pathology and audiology senior in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
Representing UT Dallas staff are Dr. Lea Aubrey, director of the Student Health Center; Arthur Gregg, assistant vice president for multicultural affairs and director of the Multicultural Center; Richard Innis, financial analyst in the Center for Vital Longevity; and Pinky Reyes, project coordinator in the JSOM dean’s office.
UT Dallas will establish a website to provide information regarding task force initiatives, including a timeline, and will provide an opportunity for the UT Dallas community to share their ideas with the task force. The website will be publicized as soon as it is operational.