Richard Reddick appointed new School of Undergraduate Studies dean, senior vice provost for curriculum and enrollment

Joelle DiPaolo, News Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the April 5, 2022 flipbook.

Richard Reddick, associate dean of equity, community engagement and outreach for the College of Education, will begin two new roles starting Aug. 1, where he will consolidate resources related to the undergraduate experience such as admissions, academic resources and career guidance. 

President Jay Hartzell appointed Reddick as the dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies and senior vice provost for curriculum on March 9. 

Reddick said he struggled to find a sense of belonging when he attended UT as an undergraduate student. He said this experience drives him to use his new role to make resources he was not aware of more visible to students.

“I don’t think most of us come to the University and just have stellar experiences,” Reddick said. “The whole point is we have to normalize (challenges) as part of the experience.” 

Starting in the fall, there will be no students in the School of Undergraduate Studies. Instead, incoming and current students can either choose to declare a major or apply undeclared to the Moody College of Communication, the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Natural Sciences, according to previous reporting with The Daily Texan. UGS currently oversees initiatives such as the signature courses. Reddick said he will take over these initiatives and make them more visible to all students, regardless of whether or not they are undeclared.  

Brent Iverson, current undergraduate studies dean, said the School’s goal is to provide all students with academic direction by placing them in a college while still allowing them to explore various degree options. 

“We want to achieve an ability for students to … find out what UT offers (and) put that all together into an optimum path,” Iverson said. 

UGS Council president Johnny Klevenski said making resources more widely available, such as assigning advisers from the Vick Center for Strategic Advising to each college, would be beneficial for students.

“The School of Undergraduate Studies was cloistered away in their own little corner,” said Klevenski, a management information systems sophomore. “I think (adding advisers) will give everybody else a much better chance of being able to utilize their resources.” 

Reddick said that beyond helping students find a suitable major, he aims to familiarize them with resources like the Sanger Learning Center to prioritize their success and wellbeing. 

“It goes back to this idea about normalizing help-seeking behaviors,” Reddick said. “It’s like working out. You don’t work out because you want to look good for the weekend; you do it consistently through time.”

Reddick will also oversee enrollment management where he plans on launching a virtual campus tour to help prospective students envision themselves on campus, he said.  

“It’s one thing to buy a burnt orange shirt and cheer for a team,” Reddick said. “But can you see yourself studying here?”  

Reddick said consolidating these different aspects of the undergraduate experience will enable the University to improve on a systemic level. 

“It makes a lot of sense that admissions and signature courses and bridging disciplines are all in the same space,” Reddick said. “This means that UT is thinking systemically — not just let’s make that better, (but) let’s make the whole thing better.”