UHD to Host Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education Meeting
Diversity Officers to Assemble for Discussions on Inclusion, Compliance June 26 – 27
By Mike Emery
The need for diversity officers is increasing at colleges and universities throughout the nation. To support these professionals, organizations such as the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education advocate for best practices and policies as they relate to inclusion and compliance on college campuses.
The organization has regional chapters throughout the U.S., and soon, Texas will again have its own branch to address issues affecting the Lone Star State.
The Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (TADOHE) is being revived and will have new leadership following its first meeting in nearly five years at the University of Houston-Downtown.
UHD will host diversity officers and other higher education leaders from around the state at the TADOHE Summer Meeting June 26 – 27 in Room A300 (third floor of UHD’s Academic Building).
“I look forward to welcoming colleagues who are committed to cultivating inclusive environments at their respective institutions,” said Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz, UHD President and one of the proponents of TADOHE’s revival. “As a Hispanic and Minority Serving Institution, UHD serves as a model of diversity for other higher education institutions, and Houston remains one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the nation. Serving as the host site for this meeting is an honor for our institution, and I look forward to a robust exchange of ideas among the state’s diversity officers.”
Dr. Muñoz served as a diversity officer before taking UHD’s reins and was a founding member of the Big 12 Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. At the meeting, he will deliver the presentation “Reimagining Our Work as Diversity & Inclusion Agents.”
Other guest speakers will include Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight Into Diversity Magazine; Dennis Kennedy, founder of the National Diversity Council; Dr. Jobi Martinez, UHD Postdoctoral Fellow; and Dr. Darron Turner, chief inclusion officer and Title IX Coordinator for Texas Christian University.
A complete schedule of presentations is available here.
At the conclusion of the meeting, TADOHE’s 2020 vision will be laid out and new officers will be elected.
“Reinstating this chapter of the national association is important for universities and their students,” Martinez said. “This meeting, in particular, will no doubt spark important discussions among the state’s diversity officers, including those new to the field. It will provide an opportunity for veteran diversity officers such as Dr. Muñoz to share valuable insights and to welcome new ideas from the state’s new faces in diversity and inclusion.”
TADOHE was initially founded in 2010. After operating for a few years, the organization became dormant. Its revival was made possible by the efforts of Muñoz, Martinez and Lonica Bush, director of Diversity & Equity at College of the Mainland.
According to Martinez, the return of TADOHE will benefit both the state’s diversity professionals and the institutions they serve. The association, she said, will promote best practices and provide valuable information to members regarding legislative initiatives affecting higher education.
“The organization will help provide a voice to influence policy in our state,” she said. “Other chapters across the nation have sent delegates to testify before their respective state legislatures. Our goal is to support practitioners while advocating and supporting policies in Texas.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second largest university in Houston—has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.
As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. Annually, UHD educates more than 14,000 students; boasts over 50,000 alumni and offers 44 bachelor’s and eight master’s degree programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service, Sciences & Technology; and University College). In 2018, UHD grew its First Time in College student population by 11 percent and transfer students by 14 percent.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston. It also is ranked among 15 U.S. universities with lowest net price to students (according to the U.S. Department of Education). The University is noted nationally as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.