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Message from President Powers

President PowersAmerica draws much of its strength from its diversity—diversity of color, certainly, but diversity of culture, ideas, points of view, and skills as well.  These things not only make America strong—they are the sine qua non of university life.  America’s diversity is especially apparent here in Texas.  Just look around and see for yourself.  Because Texas has always been a unique crossroads of cultures and ideas, diversity is at the core of our state’s vitality.  That is our good fortune.

As the flagship university of Texas—and as an institution that expects from itself nothing less than the absolute best—The University of Texas at Austin must tap into the diversity that our state embodies.  We must also be actively engaged with many diverse peoples and institutions beyond the Forty Acres if we’re to achieve our full potential—and UT Austin’s potential is today on par with that of any of the world’s other great universities.  That’s why the work of the Division for Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) is so important.  Crucial to the University’s success in meeting its teaching and research mission, and in being counted among the world’s elite institutions of higher education, is its success in meeting the challenges of providing for a diverse campus community.

I invite you to explore the Web site of the DDCE, and to see for yourself the many ways that the DDCE makes UT, Texas, and the world beyond a better place.  The DDCE works to promote diversity of color on campus, but it does so much more than that as well.  It works to ensure not only that deserving students, faculty, and researchers from all walks of life are able to come here, but that they are able to flourish.  It works to ensure that the Forty Acres is free from discriminatory practices, harassment, and misconduct, and that all persons who come here are able to pursue their work in a fair and equitable workplace.  And it assists Texas schools in providing a path to a university education for our state’s brightest young minds, regardless of their situation.  I am proud of the efforts the University has made so far in pursuit of these ends—though also mindful that these ends are never fully grasped.  Only through vigilance and hard work from every member of our campus community will we stay in pursuit of them.

I also invite you, as you explore the diverse initiatives described on this Web site, to consider not only how the DDCE can serve you, but also how you can contribute to the work, and spirit, of what the DDCE does.  I urge you to do your part to make UT a more fair, equitable, and inclusive place.

Our potential is bounded only by the limits of our imaginations.  Today, we have the opportunity to take our place among the world’s best universities.  The University of Texas has a rich history, and as we move forward, learning and growing from that rich history, we have every reason to take pride in who we are, and to be excited about the possibilities that lie before us.  Together, we can achieve our full potential—for ourselves, and for the diverse communities that the University serves.

William Powers, Jr.