Vincent Appoints Senior Leadership Team to Enhance Diversity, Community Engagement Initiatives at The University of Texas at Austin

Oct. 18, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas — Three new associate vice presidents, Dr. Edmund T. Gordon, Dr. Angela Valenzuela and Dr. Wanda L. Nelson, have been appointed in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at The University of Texas at Austin in the latest step toward enhancing and restructuring the university's diversity and community engagement initiatives.

Linda Millstone, who serves as associate vice president for institutional equity for the division, will continue in that position.

"These appointments place extraordinarily qualified people in leadership roles, and combined with the recent restructuring and expansion of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement creates one of the most comprehensive units of its kind in higher education," said Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement and the W.K. Kellogg Professor. "It demonstrates the unwavering commitment of our president, William Powers Jr., to promote diversity and community engagement among faculty, staff and students on this campus."

Powers said, "While we have made progress diversifying our campus, more needs to be done. Diversity is one of my highest priorities."

Fall semester enrollment figures for first-time freshmen indicate that proportional representation increased for Asian Americans (17.9 percent to 19.7 percent), Hispanics (18.7 percent to 19.7 percent), and African Americans (5.2 percent to 5.8 percent). Another indicator of increased campus diversity is the appointment of 30 new faculty from underrepresented groups since 2005.

Dr. Valenzuela, a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and director of the Texas Center for Education Policy (TCEP), has been appointed associate vice president for school partnerships. TCEP is a university-wide research and policy center that advances equity and excellence in public elementary, secondary and higher education, as well as connects the university's intellectual resources to educational issues facing the state.

Dr. Gordon, an associate professor of anthropology and director of the Center for African and African American Studies, has been appointed associate vice president for thematic initiatives and community engagement, and is responsible for faculty recruitment, community partnerships, the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, DDCE Faculty Fellows, the Institute for Community, University and School Partnerships, Intellectual Entrepreneurship, and art and social engagement. In the coming months, the Regional Foundation Library will be added to his portfolio as well.

Dr. Nelson, who has been an assistant vice president in Vincent's office with responsibility for outreach centers, has been promoted to associate vice president for pre-college youth development and student diversity initiatives. The portfolio will be an umbrella for a group of programs that offer a continuum of services from elementary school through graduate school. Services will assist first-generation and low-income students prepare for university-level academic work, successfully transition to the university campus, and find support systems that allow them to succeed academically, develop leadership skills, explore diverse experiences in a safe environment, and ultimately graduate. Assisting in this effort are Dr. Michele R. Guzmán and Dr. Leonard N. Moore.

Dr. Guzmán, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education, was appointed assistant vice president for diversity education, and is responsible for the implementation and management of diversity education for the university community, as well as supervision of the Multicultural Information Center, Gender and Sexuality Center, and the Diversity Institute.

Dr. Moore, an associate professor in the Department of History, was appointed assistant vice president for pre-college youth development and student diversity initiatives and will supervise the University Outreach Centers, Neighborhood Longhorns Program, Longhorn Academic Enrichment Services, TRIO Programs, and the Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program.

Other appointments:

  • Dr. Jennifer W. Maedgen was appointed assistant vice president and chief of staff. She will continue to supervise Services for Students with Disabilities, as well as oversee financial services, human resources and communications, and serve as the liaison to the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and the University Interscholastic League.
  • Dr. Sherri L. Sanders, formerly an associate dean of students, was appointed the deputy for strategic planning and policy and will manage the university's diversity planning process.
  • Dr. Ge Chen, formerly an assistant dean of students and director of Academic Enrichment Services, was appointed the special assistant for assessment and will evaluate DDCE programs and initiatives to measure their effectiveness.

For more information contact: Deb Duval, Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-232-7599.