Friday, April 16, 2021

Support Senate Bill 1709: Faculty Equity and Diversity Bill

      We, Dr. Emilio Zamora, Dr. Altheria Caldera, and Ms. Stacy Hernández, Legislative Assistant to Senator César Blanco, appreciate your support for Senate Bill 1709 authored by Senators César Blanco and José Menéndez.

       If adopted, the Faculty Equity and Diversity Bill would require colleges and universities to conduct equity assessments and adopt plans to address pay and representation inequities among minority faculty. The idea originated after eight Hispanic full professors formed the Independent Equity Committee at the University of Texas at Austin and prepared a report demonstrating pay inequities among Hispanic faculty (you may obtain a copy of the report here).

IEC Members in the Texas State Capitol Annex

      In the process of making the Hispanic Equity Report available to the public, the Independent Equity Committee received numerous reports from colleagues in other Texas colleges and universities acknowledging that the problem of pay inequity and under-representation was also present on their campuses. An especially glaring problem is that Hispanic faculty often receive lower pay despite high levels of productivity. In other words, Hispanic colleges and universities throughout Texas are most probably following the lead of the University of Texas in denying Hispanic faculty just remuneration for the high quantity and quality of their scholarly production, relative to their White counterparts.

      If you agree with Senate Bill 1709, please take the time to communicate your support to your senators and the general public. (consult the following website to identify your senator: ).  You may also wish to share this appeal for support through social media.

      You could state that as public institutions, colleges and universities should welcome standard equity assessments and plans of action. You may also call on colleges and universities to do self-assessments as examples of proper ethical behavior by institutions that serve the public interest. Also, colleges and universities should take the lead on this, otherwise, concerned groups like the Independent Equity Committee will expose inequities as well as their refusal to assume responsibility for truly making our campuses diverse, equitable and inclusive. 

      If you are interested in receiving notices on the progress of SB 1709 or if you wish to offer testimony in support of the bill, Please complete this 6-question Google form. The information you provide will go into a database (spreadsheet). When the bill is on the calendar to be heard by the full senate, we will contact those who agree to be contacted to communicate next steps. This process can move quickly, so we want to prepared!

      We appreciate your support and eagerness to see this bill become a law! If you have any questions about the process, please reach out to Stacy Hernández, the legislative assistant in Sen. Blanco’s office, or Emilio Zamora,, a member of the Independent Equity Committee. 

Feel free to share this appeal for support of SB 1709, the Faculty Equity and Diversity Bill.



Emilio Zamora, Professor of History

Department of History

University of Texas at Austin

Altheria Caldera, Fellow

Policy Advocacy, and Community Engagement

Intercultural Development Research Association (P.A.C.E) Education Policy Fellow

Stacy Hernández, Legislative Assistant

Senator César Blanco

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