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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Teaching and promoting diversity and inclusion is key to the university’s mission of creating global citizens.

TCU professors chatting with a student as they walk across campus

A Focus on DEI

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives are a key part of TCU’s core values. Fulfilling TCU’s mission to develop ethical leaders and critical thinkers in a global community depends on the university’s ability to attract and retain students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds that thrive in our community. A diverse and inclusive campus leads to innovation, broadened perspectives and understanding – values that are foundational aspects of higher education.

Planning

DEI is a foundational theme in TCU’s Vision in Action: Lead On Strategic Plan, which was a result of several years planning and broad engagement with the Horned Frog community. Key points in the timeline include:

  • Fall 2016 – Chancellor Boschini and the Board of Trustees established the TCU Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to educate individuals to build diversity and inclusion, think and act as ethical leaders, and become responsible citizens in the global community.
  • October 2017 – TCU’s DEI Committee presented recommendations based on the committee’s careful study of current practices and needs assessment. View the recommendations that were approved and implemented. Before that time, and since then, the voices of our students, faculty and staff are the force behind our DEI efforts. Passionate student leaders share TCU’s vision for a more diverse and inclusive campus and are helping to shape new initiatives that will improve our campus culture.
  • Summer 2019 – the Provost's Office and Office of Diversity and Inclusion engaged Dr. Damon Williams with the nationally-recognized Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership & Social Innovation to complete a campus-wide DEI inventory of programs and initiatives. Preliminary results were shared with TCU in February 2020. Those results are helping TCU leadership develop new efforts and improvements to current initiatives.
  • July 2020 – TCU’s Board of Trustees and the Office of the Chancellor announced an initiative to study the university’s historical connections to racism, slavery and the Confederacy. Unanimously supported by all members of the Board, this undertaking to review and understand the university’s history will make TCU a more inclusive institution, providing an even stronger foundation on which to build our future.

Current DEI Efforts

TCU has received the INSIGHT Into Diversity’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, which recognizes institutions of higher education that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, for the third year in a row. This award acknowledges significant work and commitment to efforts in the DEI space.

The Race and Reconciliation Initiative held its first virtual town hall meeting hosted by Dr. Frederick Gooding Jr., chair of the Race & Reconciliation Initiative and associate professor of African American Studies in the John V. Roach Honors College. The town hall set the stage for a deep academic exploration of TCU’s history that will allow us to define and address an equitable future. A recording of the Town Hall is available to watch. The next town hall is scheduled for Sept. 24.

Also recently announced is TCU’s membership in a worldwide movement, the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium, which provides resources and shared research in support of active understanding and healing for our community. TCU is the second university in Texas to join the consortium.

Inspired by the “End Racism Now” mural painted on the Main Street of downtown Fort Worth in June, TCU student Kelton Hollins approached Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. on July 4 with the idea to create something similar on the TCU campus. Within hours, his request was approved. After further discussions with campus leaders and planning, the sidewalk in front of Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena, known to most TCU fans as “Frog Alley,” was selected as the mural site, with the goal of completing the project before the fall semester begins.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host its inaugural Diversity Day Virtual Conference on Oct. 1. The theme “REFLECT. REIMAGINE. RECONNECT” recognizes the need to reflect on our past as well as recognize the complex ways our lives intersect so that we can build a new movement focused on personal and systemic change. In addition to keynote speaker Dr. Freeman Harbowski, the conference will have four panels that will concentrate on identified issues related to the following: Intersectionality, Anti-Racism, Racial Healing and Social Activism.

The university recently established an Office of Institutional Equity to help achieve its strategic DEI priorities. The director of this office will work closely with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. This enhancement and additional resourcing, combined with campus coordination and partnership, help advance TCU’s ability to support positive cultural change for our campus.

Our Office of Diversity and Inclusion, under Aisha Torrey-Sawyer’s leadership, continues to shape the strategy for systemic change at TCU. Efforts include initiating new mandatory diversity training for students, faculty and staff, and the Human Resources/Office of Diversity and Inclusion R.I.S.E. Certificate Program, designed to provide participants tools and learning opportunities to advance personal and professional development in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has also partnered with Human Resources to provide selection committee training required for all search committee members. The training sessions focus on diversifying the applicant pools, eliminating biases, and missteps in the selection process.

Over the course of the summer, the TCU Alumni Association, under the leadership of National Alumni Board President Tracy Williams, offered a variety of ways for its members to be engaged in meaningful DEI work. As a result, an Alumni DEI Committee, open to all alumni, was established to expand its programming and will focus on the following topics: action, advocacy, education and awareness.

Formed under the leadership of Intercollegiate Athletics Director Jeremiah Donati in June, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Athletics Council is a place for discussion of current racial issues and nationwide tensions in society and to collaborate on the best path in serving TCU student-athletes, coaches and staff. The Council will also be entrusted to develop strategies and meaningful programming that will have a positive impact on the athletics department.

Student Resources

Several resources stand ready to assist individuals or groups of students needing diversity, equity and inclusion-related support, or other issues affecting their well-being.

The Office of Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services has dedicated space on the second floor of Jarvis Hall in the center of TCU’s campus, where staff provides resources and counsels and mentors students.

In addition, a newly designated space has been identified on campus, and a student committee will be involved in the design and use of that space in Brown-Lupton University Union. Renovation planned for earlier this year was delayed due to the pandemic.

TCU receives thoughtful and valid input on a variety of subjects from our dedicated community, and we take each one seriously. The Chancellor and senior administrators meet directly with student groups to better understand the opportunities ahead of us.

Our Anti-Discrimination Policy

TCU prohibits discrimination and harassment based on age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ethnic origin, disability, predisposing genetic information, covered veteran status and any other basis protected by law. TCU also prohibits retaliation against an individual for making a good faith report under this policy. TCU is committed to providing a positive learning and working environment free from discrimination and harassment.