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Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Dear Cougar Community,

Recently, I asked Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Paula Myrick Short and Vice President for Student Affairs Richard Walker to establish a work group to prepare a document confirming the University of Houston’s longstanding commitment to diversity. This group has now produced “The UH Diversity and Inclusion Statement,” which I believe does an admirable job setting forth our dedication to these vital principles.

The statement is available online.

We are indebted to the Diversity and Inclusion Work Group and, in particular, its co-chairs Dean Alan Dettlaff, of the Graduate College of Social Work, and Niya Blair, director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.  We have listed all the group members below, and I ask that you join me in applauding them for their diligence and this significant contribution to our University.

UH takes justifiable pride in its history of diversity and inclusion. Our Mission Statement spells out our allegiance to these values, specifically pledging to “anticipate and respond to changing demographics in an increasingly diverse and globally independent world.”  The UH Diversity and Inclusion Statement was developed to ensure and enhance our continuing support of those standards and is intended to advance dialogue and facilitate appropriate actions related to issues of diversity at our campus.   

As the statement declares, “Diversity enriches our university community and is a driving force instrumental to our institutional success and fulfillment of the university’s mission.”

This document is an important confirmation of our values at UH, and I urge everyone to embrace both the spirit and the letter of the UH Diversity and Inclusion Statement.   


Dr. Alan Dettlaff
Dean, Graduate College of Social Work, Co-Chair

Niya Blair
Director, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Co-Chair

Dr. Richard Baker
Assistant Vice Chancellor and Assistant Vice President, Office of Equal Opportunity Services

Gillian Bautista
Computer Science Department, Staff Council Representative

Dr. Elizabeth Gregory
Professor of English, Director, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program

Dr. Erika Henderson
Assistant Provost, Faculty Recruitment, Retention, Equity and Diversity

Dr. Cathy Horn
Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; President-elect, Faculty Senate

Dr. Norma Ngo
Director, Counseling and Psychological Services

Adrian Castillo
Former SGA, Chief of Staff, CLASS

Delaney Catlettstout
Student Government Association, CLASS

Brinda Penmesta
Bonner Leadership Council, Bauer College of Business

Brandon Williams
Black Student Union, Bauer College of Business

Erika Harrison
Equal Opportunity Specialist, Office of Equal Opportunity Services

With warm regards,

Renu Khator