Dear UNT Community,
To better reflect the primary mission of UNT’s Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity, we have changed our name to the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA), effective Aug. 1. This change — intended to more accurately describe our committed work to foster inclusion and diversity while ensuring equity and access for students, faculty and staff who work and learn at UNT — follows months of review and feedback from the campus community through an online survey. We hope that with this new name — more effectively resonating with students, faculty and staff — the important programs, training and services that we offer to support the university community are more clearly understood so more people will know where to go for assistance with issues related to inclusion, diversity, equity and access.
In addition to the name change, the division’s main office — which is located on the first floor of the Hurley Administration Building and oversees Diversity and Inclusion, Equal Opportunity and Title IX, the Multicultural Center, and the Pride Alliance — has played a key role in helping to create a more caring campus by making tremendous strides this past year enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion at UNT.
Diversity and Inclusion, headed by Shani Barrax Moore, converted all of their trainings and educational offerings to a virtual format in spring 2020. The unit also collaborated with Faculty Success in developing the Anti-Bias and Cultural Awareness Program for Academic Affairs employees. This two-part program launched in fall 2020, identified diversity and inclusion training options and helped support faculty, staff, and academic administrators as they applied strategies for success and inclusion in their daily tasks and responsibilities. Diversity and Inclusion also facilitated the first virtual Equity and Diversity Conference in March. With over 500 attendees, corporate sponsorship, and logistical support from the North Texas Community College Consortium, the virtual format provided a possible hybrid model for the 2022 event. The conference is one of the division’s signature events and provides UNT employees with professional development opportunities and a way to complete the diversity and inclusion training required of UNT employees. This fall, Diversity and Inclusion will conduct focus groups of UNT employees and students to follow up on the statistically significant findings from the Campus Inclusion Climate Survey.
Equal Opportunity and Title IX, headed by Eve Shatteen Bell, underwent a name change this past year as well, and effective Jan. 1 assumed responsibility for all Title IX complaint investigations at the university. Equal Opportunity and Title IX have revamped the sexual misconduct complaint process, revised the sexual misconduct policy, and are currently conducting searches to fill vacant Equal Opportunity investigator and administrative coordinator positions. This fall, look for Equal Opportunity and Title IX’s campaign to better inform students about the importance of consent.
Another unit in our division, the Multicultural Center, is a linchpin in the university’s efforts to promote student diversity and inclusion. The center received significant new resources over the past two years. As outlined in the Plan for Improving Diversity and Inclusion at UNT (June 2020), the university committed to building a new free standing Multicultural Center building. This past year, the Multicultural Center Programming Planning Committee — made up of students, faculty, staff, administrators and staff from UNT System’s Office of Facilities, Planning and Construction — met monthly and recently identified a team to design and construct the new $5 million center. Program planning will continue through this fall with construction scheduled to begin February 2022. This spring, Shabaz Brown was appointed the interim director of the Multicultural Center and a new student services coordinator who focuses on student DACA issues was hired.
The Pride Alliance, a gender and sexuality resource center, is headed by Kathleen Hobson. During the pandemic, the Pride Alliance expanded its OUTfits Clothing Closet, which provides free gender affirming clothing to any UNT student. All clothing and funding supporting OUTfits are donated to the Pride Alliance. The Pride Alliance received additional support this year and will welcome a new student services coordinator this fall to assist with educational programming, training and student success and leadership development activities.
I am proud of all the accomplishments our division has made this past year to help strengthen our university’s diverse culture and creating a more inclusive campus climate. The division’s annual report — to be released in October — will provide a fuller update on IDEA’s accomplishments in fiscal year 2020-21. We look forward to the continued work this year as a university to make our caring community even stronger.
Joanne G. Woodard
Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access