Welcome to the Office for Inclusion and Equity
Welcome to The University of Texas at Austin, Office for Inclusion and Equity. The Office for Inclusion and Equity advances a diverse, equitable, and supportive campus culture through our commitment to fulfilling the spirit of equal opportunity laws and policies, as well as building awareness within the university community. As outlined in OIE's mission statement, this office serves as a vital resource and leader in promoting and furthering the University's commitment to diversity and equal opportunity for all members of its community.
As you explore our website, you will find many resources that foster and support an environment on campus that is inclusive, respectful, and free from discrimination and harassment. We are committed and dedicated to all the principles outlined in OIE's mission statement and the University's nondiscrimination statement.
Message from the Associate Vice President
A fundamental part of supporting academic excellence is ensuring our campus is a place where diverse people, ideas, and perspectives can flourish. To support that goal, the Office for Inclusion and Equity (OIE) staff collaborate with individuals across campus to promote a diverse, equitable, and supportive campus culture. Through our commitment to fulfilling the spirit of equal opportunity laws and policies as well as building awareness within the university community, OIE plays an important role in strengthening the university’s educational and working environment.
In OIE, we are fortunate to work with faculty, administrators, staff, and students as we assist unit-based inclusion and equity committees in developing and implementing their strategic diversity plans. We also work closely with individuals from these same groups to investigate potential violations of university policies and to bring to fruition equitable resolutions when violations occur. To further the classroom experience for all students, we present a leadership seminar series where faculty members discuss strategies for developing and sustaining an inclusive classroom climate. In addition, we partner with the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs to develop recruitment and retention strategies that enhance the diversity of our faculty. To complement this recruitment and retention partnership, we create and translate the institution’s Affirmative Action Plan data into effective tools that will lead to the institutionalization of inclusive best practices throughout UT Austin.
Without difference, little can be accomplished in terms of innovation, and this is why an inclusive culture that actively and intentionally engages diverse people, ideas, and perspectives is essential. On a daily basis, OIE staff members work to break down barriers and to create a culture where all individuals can draw strength from our collective diversity. In collaborating with others across campus, OIE aims to positively impact every corner and every member of the university community. OIE invites others to join us in advancing the institution’s collective diversity so that UT Austin can be one of the best research universities in the world.
Dr. Sherri L. Sanders
Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Equity
The University of Texas at Austin is an equal employment opportunity employer. The University does not discriminate or tolerate harassment on any basis prohibited by applicable federal and/or state law including race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, citizenship status, or Vietnam era or special disabled veteran status in recruitment, employment, promotion, compensation, benefits, or training. It has been a long held policy for the University to maintain a work environment free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The University of Texas at Austin fosters an environment of open communication and is committed to protecting individuals from retaliation who participate or engage in protected activities. Read more.
What We Do
In 1973, the University of Texas at Austin established an office to investigate and resolve allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In 2015, the Office for Institutional Equity expanded its role and responsibilities to become the Office for Inclusion and Equity. Today, OIE has wide-ranging objectives and significant responsibilities including providing:
- A mechanism for responding to, investigating, and resolving complaints of harassment (including sexual harassment), discrimination, hostile work and learning environment, retaliation, and sexual misconduct;
- Collaboration with academic colleges and schools for campus diversity planning to enhance academic curriculum, culture and climate, and recruitment and retention;
- Determination of eligibility and approval of reasonable accommodations for faculty and staff with disabilities;
- Development of the institution’s Affirmative Action Plan and its data into effective tools that will lead to the institutionalization of inclusive best practices throughout UT Austin;
- Education of faculty search committees regarding effective best practices to facilitate inclusive recruitment processes and to minimize the impact of implicit bias;
- Facilitation of the Inclusive Classrooms Leadership Seminar, which engages faculty, assistant instructors, and teaching assistants in discussions about strategies for creating and sustaining an inclusive classroom climate;
- Information, consultation, training, and resources to the University community with regard to diversity, harassment and discrimination prevention, retaliation, affirmative action, equal opportunity, and disability matters;
- Leadership of the Campus Climate Response Team, which responds to reports of bias incidents from students, faculty, staff, visitors, and contractors;
- Oversight of and support for the University’s compliance efforts in the areas of equal opportunity, affirmative action, harassment and discrimination prevention, retaliation, and compliance with all applicable state and federal civil rights laws;
- Partnership with the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, as well as academic colleges and schools, to implement recruitment and retention strategies that enhance the diversity of our faculty;
- Preparation of the University's responses to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's charges of discrimination and the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division's discrimination complaints;
- Support of and participation in diversity and inclusion committees within colleges and schools and administrative units; and
- University liaison with external agencies including the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in the Department of Labor.
The Office for Inclusion and Equity is a University office, and is not connected with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).