Implementing DEI among top priorities for new provost

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Teresa Dahlberg, TCU’s new provost. Photo by Heesoo Yang.

In her first remarks to the Faculty Senate, Provost Theresa Abi-Nader Dalhberg outlined an agenda that emphasizes diversity, equity and inclusion in the core curriculum and the faculty hiring process.

At Thursday’s meeting, Dahlberg said she wants the university’s DEI effort to be strategic.

“DEI is a focus area, but not necessarily DEI broadly,” she said. “If we do too much, we won’t really accomplish anything in particular.”

Out of 698 total full-time faculty members at TCU last year, 549 were white; 48 percent were female.

Dahlberg said the university will utilize a platform called PageUp during the hiring process of faculty and staff to “take the work flow on how we hire people and put it all on an online platform.”

This will include training to “inject certain points,” Dahlberg said. She is still considering whether in-person or video training will be required afterward.

“This is a time to look at the work flow and to say ‘What should we be doing and put the DEI hooks into this work flow onto the platform?’” Dahlberg said.

Dahlberg addresses the Faculty Senate. Photo by Heesoo Yang.

Dahlberg also talked about a DEI Inventory which would look at how the university is already implementing DEI to connect it to areas that might benefit from DEI inclusion.

“This is not just about doing a lot of set-aside DEI activities, as a social imperative, but looking at DEI as an educational imperative and something we need to integrate,” Dahlberg said.

During her first few months on campus, Dahlberg said she was able to get a glimpse of the resources for students on campus, including the “phenomenal” writing center and study abroad services, along with the counseling center.

In order to create a seamless transition for students between their academic and social lives, Dahlberg said she would like an integrative student success model, but did not elaborate on what it may include.

Dahlberg also participated in TCU’s first-year experience, hosting a group of 30 incoming first-year students for a Frogs First Family Dinner and participating in two Frog Camps.

She said she enjoyed her Frog Camp experience so much that she’s considering expanding its mission throughout the entire first-year experience and beyond.

“This really is the happiest place that I’ve ever witnessed,” Dahlberg said.