UT President Jay Hartzell announces diversity and inclusion updates, ‘Eyes of Texas’ committee

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Photo Credit: Jamie Hwang | Daily Texan Staff

UT President Jay Hartzell announced Tuesday UT’s plans and progress in engaging the University in conversations about campus culture, including creating a committee to “chronicle the full history” of “The Eyes of Texas” and finalizing the renaming of the Robert Lee Moore building.

“From my 25 years at UT and first 10 days in this job, I believe that these diverse passions and unique perspectives can and will, ultimately, bring us together through meaningful conversations and actions,” Hartzell said in the announcement. 

Hartzell said the committee that will highlight the history of “The Eyes of Texas” will finish its work by January so they can “inform our conversations about the UT community’s core values and vision for the future.” 

Members of the committee will include “diverse” alumni, staff, faculty and current or former athletes and Longhorn Band members, according to the announcement. 

“Our important work to ensure that every person on our campus — regardless of background — knows and feels they are welcome at UT will not be completed in a few months,” Hartzell said. “It will take years — and will take all of us participating.”

 

The University also approved $1 million in new funds to recruit and support students from underrepresented communities in Dallas, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, according to the announcement. 

To track its progress in diversity, equity and inclusion, the University launched a new website listing its plans and their status.

On the website, several items, such as expanding the UT Police Oversight Committee and reallocating a multimillion-dollar investment from the University’s athletic revenue to other programs, are marked as either “planned,” “in progress” or “complete.” 

“I remain committed to our university doing even more, and I hold fast to the belief that you should never bet against Texas,” Hartzell said. “So thank you to those who have and continue to share your thoughts, concerns and ideas with me — and I look forward to fuller conversations about our values and vision during the coming year.”