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VP Gilda Garcia to leave UNT

Feb. 11, 2014

Dear UNT community,

Gilda GarciaVice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity Gilda Garcia, right, recently informed me that she has accepted the chief diversity officer position at Texas State University in San Marcos. Her last day at UNT will be Feb. 28. While I’m sorry to see her go, I understand this was an important personal decision for her as she embraces a new opportunity and relocates to be geographically closer to family.

Dr. Garcia joined UNT in 2007, and while I’ve not had the opportunity to work with her, I respect her leadership and service at UNT. It’s clear she’s passionate about fostering a diverse, welcoming university, and her dedication to building an inclusive campus climate is evident in her accomplishments. Even though she is leaving UNT, we can continue to build on the strong foundation that she created here.

Under Dr. Garcia’s leadership, the President’s Diversity Council, which she co-chairs, developed a Diversity Plan and the university updated its Affirmative Action Plan. She guided the university in its expansion of the diversity statement and non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Dr. Garcia launched new resources to advance inclusivity, including the UNT IDEA team, a diversity advisory board; Special Interest Group Networks; and the student-centered Transgender Taskforce. In collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs, she developed and launched the Pride Alliance, a new space dedicated to LGBT students and faculty and staff members, and the Black Student Experience, an annual event for African American students. She reinvigorated the annual Equity and Diversity Conference, and collaborated with UNT-International and the Office of Sustainability to create the “Creating Great Global Citizens” initiative. And Dr. Garcia strengthened community relationships through outreach and engagement initiatives, such as La Vida Denton and Keep Denton Beautiful.

I’m grateful to Dr. Garcia for her contributions to UNT becoming a more inclusive university. Our university is one of the nation’s most diverse, with more than 40 percent of our student body comprising ethnic minorities. And UNT is in the top 100 for the number of degrees awarded to ethnic minority students. Our Multicultural Center celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and UNT has many programs, events and resources that help to foster diversity and engagement on our campus. During Dr. Garcia’s remaining time at UNT, I intend to learn as much as I can about the work of the division to ensure that UNT continues to advance as a diverse and inclusive institution

I hope you’ll join me in thanking Dr. Garcia for her service to UNT and wishing her well as she prepares for her new position at Texas State University.


UNT proud,

Neal Smatresk

President, University of North Texa

Gilda Garcia invite

Posted on: Tue 11 February 2014

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