|| Recruitment and Retention Committee
Committee Function: To address the matter of recruitment and
retention of minority students and to advise the Faculty Council and
the president on constructive solutions to alleviate the problems
of recruitment and retention.
Faculty Council Appointees:
|Margarita Arellano, associate dean of students
|Alan D. Constant, associate director, UT Learning
|Thomas J. Garza, associate professor, Slavic
languages and literature
|Darlene Grant, assistant professor, social
|Joni L. Jones, associate professor, speech
|Marie Harris, program coordinator, UT Learning
|Angela Valenzuela, associate professor, Center
for Mexican American Studies
|N. Bruce Walker, director, Office of Admissions
|administration (with vote)
|administration (with vote)
Joanna M. Brooks, assistant professor, English
John D. Downing, professor, radio-television-film
Alexandra Chirinos, Student Government representative,
Alex Charles Hammond, Student Government representative, government
Frances Elizabeth Valdez, Student Government representative, ethnic
Meredith White, Graduate Assembly representative
Susana I. Aleman, representative, Hispanic Alumni Association
Brenda H. Burt, representative, Black Alumni Association
Augustine Garza, deputy director, Office of Admissions
James L. Hill, vice president for human resources and community
Victoria Rodriguez, vice provost
Meeting Dates: September 26, October 17, November 15, 2001,
and February 20, March 21, and April 10, 2002.
September 26, 2001
A motion to table the request to change and expand the charge to this
committee was made, seconded, and passed, following lengthy discussion
of the 2000-2001 committee's request to the General Faculty. Last
year's request focused on changing the charge from the one noted above
to the following: To (1) address the matter of recruitment, retention,
and advancement of undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented
populations; (2) collaborate with the Faculty Council and other University
committees established to address the issue of faculty/administrative
staff recruitment, retention, and advancement; and (3) recommend to
the Faculty Council and the president constructive solutions for enhancing
diversity and the coordination and dissemination of information regarding
these issues. The primary motivation for tabling the request was the
new proliferation of committees that address faculty and staff recruitment,
retention, and advancement. The recommendation is that this committee
"partner" with these other committees so that we minimize
duplication of effort and emphasize the "centralization"
of all recruitment and retention efforts information.
Our primary task for this meeting was to review enrollment statistics
across pre- and post-Hopwood years 1996 through 2001. These statistics,
found at http://www.utexas.edu/student/admissions/stuprofile,
were given to each member present at the committee meeting for review.
Dr. Galvan responded to our initial review of the statistics with
a brief presentation regarding what the president's office is doing
in response to recruitment and retention concerns.
October 17, 2001
Discussion of this committee's role in recruitment and retention efforts
continued. Augustine provided an "Austin Outreach Recruitment
Report, 2001-2002 Recruitment Cycle," which the committee reviewed,
including discussion of (1) the three UT admissions centers, (2) the
Longhorn Opportunity Scholarship (LOS) program, and (3) the development
of a plan to conduct targeted focus groups with students who can tell
us why they chose UT, and why their high school classmates, friends,
and acquaintances did not (e.g., money, size, UT's too white, academics,
perception of UT environment as welcoming or unwelcoming to student
and/or student's culture, parental attitude about the University).
A portion of this meeting was used to emphasize and develop a concrete
strategy of involving different units (including African and African
American studies, Multicultural Information Center, Center for Mexican
American Studies, etc.) in the standard recruitment routine of the
admissions center. The April 2002 Longhorn Honors Day, and
the subsequent March 2, 2002, Explore UT program would be the
first of numerous opportunities to implement the plan developed in
Efforts continued in a more purposeful manner to reach out to student
organizations that might be involved in our recruitment and retention
efforts including the Hispanic Affairs Agency and Migrant Education
Consortium for Higher Achievement (MECHA), and the Student African
American Brotherhood (SAAB).
Given the list of UT Nights where UT presented recruitment
programming to thirteen high schools in the Austin area, committee
members volunteered to set up tables and have a presence (that included
current UT students) at the "Information Marketplace" at
Johnston High School on October 29, and Lanier High School on October
November 15, 2001
During this meeting we discussed the three major projects the committee
committed to for the remainder of this school year:
February 20, 2002
|| Working with the Office of Freshmen Admissions
to coordinate a program requested by the Austin Young Attorney's
Association, under the auspices of the governor's office. The
program was planned for Saturday, April 6, to be held at the
UT School of Social Work for approximately 200 Austin middle
school youth who are high risk for early school drop out and
not attending college.
|| Developing a focus group/town hall meeting
on recruitment and retention where we will listen to concerns
and pose questions so that the administration gains better insight
into how to "franchise" students in our institution's
efforts to recruit and retain a diverse student body and faculty.
|| Having different units (as discussed earlier
in this report) participate in the Marketplace at the Explore
UT Rise and Shine program.
Joanna Brooks committed to contacting Nakeenya Haynes, president of
a student government group "Recruitment and Retention Agency,"
which meets every Thursday at 5 P.M., SSB 3rd floor. The plan was
to solicit this agency's assistance in cosponsoring the forums. Brenda
Burt, Francis Valdez, and Augustine Garza each committed to attending
the agency's Thursday, February 21, meeting in support of garnering
a partnership with the agency as the "charge" of the respective
March 21, 2002
Our goal to garner different units and committee members to participate
in the Longhorn Honors Day, and the Explore UT programs
Dr. Brooks reported that the Recruitment and Retention Agency loved
the idea of partnering with our committee to conduct a series of student
forums focused on understanding student thoughts about the University's
recruitment and retention issues.
In keeping with committee members' attempts to stay appraised of legislative
efforts to assist the University in its goal to recruit and retain
a diverse student population, Dr. Galvan provided some insight into
HB 400, the companion bill to the Top 10% Rule, HB 588.
April 10, 2002
We had the wonderful opportunity to meet with and hold our last meeting
of the 2001-2002 school year in the offices of Dean Teresa Brett,
the University's new dean of students. Meeting content focused on
introductions and explaining the efforts of the committee, as well
as encouraging Dean Brett to consider this committee as a formal "partner"
in her office's recruitment and retention efforts.
Summary of the Committee's Focus Over the Past Three Years
- Discussion of committee's role in recruitment
and retention efforts;
- Outreach Recruitment Report, including three
UT admissions centers—Austin (six counselors), Houston (three
counselors), and Dallas (three counselors)—LOS programs;
- Goal of understanding why numerically underrepresented
students apply or do not apply to UT; attend or do not attend.
The recommendation was made that we have targeted focus groups
with students who can tell us why;
- Emphasized strategy of involving different units
(African and African American studies, Multicultural Information
Center, Center for Mexican American Studies, etc.) in the standard
recruitment routine of the admissions center. For example, having
a presence at Longhorn Honors Day, Explore UT, and
- Interfacing with student organizations with whom
we can partner in recruitment and retention efforts;
- Anti-affirmative action sentiment by some students
who feel the University is admitting under-prepared and/or undeserving
freshmen simply because they achieved top-10% ranking in their
high schools. Perception of 10% rule is being monitored at the
- There is evidence that UT's retention programs
work. What is the committee's role in gaining a greater community
sense that the University is committed to minority students, to
the success of freshmen, and to the success of students in general?
And, what type of structural and /or institutional change is necessary
to achieve our highest recruitment and retention goals?
We ended the year with the following charge to next year's committee:
- Continue with the effort of holding focus groups
with students early in the 2002-2003 school year;
- Continue with efforts to identify and partner
with other General Faculty and student groups charged with attending
to retention and recruitment efforts;
- Invite Wanda Nelson, executive director of the
University Outreach Center, and Vice Provost Lucia Gilbert to
meet with the committee and share their insights into recruitment
and retention efforts and this committee's role as such;
- Continue work on involving the Multicultural
Information Center (MIC) and seven other centers (Center for African
and Afro-American Studies, Latin American Studies, Asian Studies
Center, etc.) with the Freshman Admissions Center in their recruitment
- Keep Dean Brett advised of committee efforts
to increase the possibility of partnering on specific projects;
- Schedule a meeting with the president and Provost;
- Ask the University for a "report card"
evaluating student flow by college that would include a report
based on different ethnic groups and recruitment and retention
efforts by college/unit. Plan to address the problems created
by a model of "decentralization" at the graduate level
that prevents a general understanding of recruitment and retention
efforts at that level.
This document was posted on the Faculty Council Web site, www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/
on July 29, 2002. Paper copies are available on request from the Office
of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.