FAS Diversity Commitment
Dear FAS Colleagues,
Our national conversation around the senseless death of George Floyd and others has raised many questions about institutional discrimination and bias – questions which similar incidents have, in the past, yielded little consensus around satisfactory answers. And yet, our current moment feels differently. From protests spanning the globe decrying anti-black violence to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling this week that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay and transgender employees against workplace discrimination – this time, greater consensus seems forthcoming. This time, answers feel within reach.
I believe every employee should feel welcome to bring their full self to work every day – whether that work is on campus or remote. To do that, we will prioritize creating safe spaces in our current environment. This will be hard work, but we will provide training and tools to help guide us along the way. Ongoing professional development and opportunities for engagement will promote and sustain an inclusive environment for all of our colleagues.
These efforts will be tied to the FAS Diversity Commitment:
FAS Diversity Commitment
Financial and Administrative Services is dedicated to supporting the mission of the University of Texas at Austin of unlocking potential and preparing future leaders of the state. One of the essential elements of meeting that mission is conducting our work in a way that reflects our value of diversity in its many facets.
To that end, we want all of our employees to feel confident that their varied backgrounds and experiences are valued. In a similar manner, we embrace the expectation those experiences, in concert with the portfolio’s other values of innovation, integrity, service, stewardship, and teamwork, will inform their work.
We commit to supporting our staff with training and professional development to ensure diverse voices are invited, included, and listened to in our work environment. We promote and sustain a sense of belonging for all of our colleagues. We commit to growing our retention, promotion, recruitment, and hiring efforts to improve diversity at all levels in the portfolio.
To support our immediate focus on our current workplace environment, we have specific plans related to this commitment. We are establishing an FAS Diversity Committee to advise me and our senior leadership team on strategies to improve diversity and create a more inclusive culture. A committee charge and membership will be shared soon. We are also developing training for our portfolio, to help us foster an inclusive work culture and create safe spaces for discussion and best practices around diversity, equity and inclusion.
I look forward to sharing more details about these plans and our progress over time. And if you’re looking for ways to help start this important work, I encourage you to take time to reflect on the meaning of Juneteenth as suggested by Interim President Hartzell.
We will continue moving FAS forward, together. Thank you for everything you do.
Darrell Bazzell | Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer | The University of Texas at Austin