Monday, Oct. 2, 2023
Dear Faculty and Staff,
Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Joanne Woodard officially retired with the start of this month after nearly 8 years of service. I am grateful for the impact she made for our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Her care and commitment in expanding our annual Diversity Conference, improving understanding about the importance of inclusion and helping to ensure all individuals had the opportunity to access an education or career with UNT will be felt for years to come. I also am grateful for the important work she did specifically with alumni, helping to connect them to campus and students in meaningful ways.
With her departure, the Division of IDEA officially closed in keeping with Texas Senate Bill 17. That closure brought about the elimination of eight positions. Thankfully though, every individual working in the division at the time it closed is still part of our campus community, making a difference for our students, faculty, and staff.
UNT has long been a community committed to supporting our students’ success and academic achievement while providing affordable access to many populations. As a Minority-Serving and Hispanic-Serving Institution, UNT is a university that reflects the greater diversity of Texas. We remain steadfast in our commitment and service to all students and their success.
When I first announced our plans as they relate to inclusion and access in August, I said we would be thoughtful in our approach and work to ensure that all of our students receive the support they need now and in the future.
The changes we have made – and those still under consideration – have been undertaken with the guidance of the UNT System Office of General Counsel to ensure we are adhering to state and federal law as a state institution.
I want to thank everyone involved for the serious and respectful way each has undertaken the work of making these changes. By keeping our focus on the people involved and our commitment to helping every member of our diverse community succeed, we continue to work together to find the best way forward.