Creating a More Just and Humane World

St. Edward's University seeks to create positive social change and an environment where barriers do not hinder anyone because of any dimension of their identity. In order to guide our work and provide direction to our community, the following statements were developed during the 2020–2021 academic year. Currently, several committees and initiatives function to further the specific work required to realize this vision.

The following vision and commitment were developed by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Integration Team (DEIIT) with guidance and feedback during the process from stakeholder groups throughout the community. In addition, the statement as been reviewed and approved by university leadership including the president and cabinet.

Each member of the St. Edward’s University community is called to utilize this statement as a guidepost and inspiration for the creation of plans and initiatives that actively challenge us to be an institution that values and affirms all members of our community. For examples of how current DEI initiatives are taking shape and to keep up with the latest updates, please visit this page often.


St. Edward’s honors and respects all members of its community by fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment that respects the dignity and worth of each person and stresses the obligation of all people to pursue a more just world. 

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The mission of St. Edward’s University, inspired by the Congregation of Holy Cross and rooted in the principles of Catholic social teaching, calls us to participate in the elimination of systemic oppression and in the creation of a more just and humane world for all people. Through these values, St. Edward’s University celebrates personal and cultural diversity and promotes social justice through recognizing the dignity and worth of each person. 

The university seeks to provide equitable educational opportunities to students from all backgrounds, eliminate barriers to student success, and to advance excellence.  In support of our mission and consistent with our values of inclusivity and respect as a Holy Cross community, the university seeks to provide equitable employment and professional development opportunities to faculty and staff from all backgrounds, ensuring that each employee can contribute to their full potential.

The diversity of our university community represents a significant part of our culture, mission, and commitment to our Holy Cross values. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, unique capabilities, and innovative talent that our students, faculty and staff invest in their work and study enriches our vibrant community. 

We embrace our community members’ differences in age, color, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our community unique. 

Members of the St. Edward’s community are called to uphold this commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in fulfillment of our Catholic and Holy Cross mission that unites us in pursuit of a more just world.

The university is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and is opposed to any form of discrimination or abuse by individuals or groups. Faculty, staff and student employees who believe they have been subjected to any kind of discrimination that conflicts with the university’s diversity, equity and inclusion statement and initiatives should make a report to the Office of Human Resources (in person Doyle Hall 131, 512-448-8587, or online using the Student Concern/Conduct Reporting Form. Students who wish to report any kind of discrimination may do so online using the Sex/Gender Harassment, Discrimination & Misconduct/Employee of Concern Form or contact the Dean of Students Office at 512-448-8408 or visit Main Building G16. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Integration Team

The DEI Integration Team ensures coordination and collaboration across committees and key offices. Together, they oversee an integrated institutional plan to foster diversity, equity and inclusion, and timely communication with the president, cabinet and broader community. Team members include:

  • Lisa Kirkpatrick, Vice President for Student Affairs, Title IX Coordinator
  • Marianne Ward-Peradoza, Interim Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Kim Kvaal, Vice President for Finance And Administration
  • Father Peter Walsh, CSC, Director of Campus Ministry
  • Melissa Esqueda, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Monique Jiménez-Herrera, Associate Vice President for Faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Erica Zamora ’11, Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion
  • Liz Johnson MBA ’20, Director of Government and Community Relations
  • Gwendolyn Schuler '94, Director of Communications

President’s Advisory Council (PAC) for a Respectful, Inclusive Community

The PAC is made up of faculty, staff and students who report to the president. They work together to identify opportunities to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion in our campus community. The council also amplifies these efforts in our broader communities and informs the work of key stakeholders positioned to champion diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Learn more about the PAC.

Faculty Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (FCDI)

A subcommittee of the Faculty Senate, the FCDI focuses on creating and sustaining a civil and robust dialogue about the values of a diverse and inclusive faculty body. The committee seeks to promote a greater diversity of faculty members from groups traditionally underrepresented among the university’s faculty body, and doing so in ways that are relevant and appropriate to each academic domain. In keeping with the mission of St. Edward’s, the FCDI believes that having a diverse faculty helps students broaden their national and international perspectives and enhances the possibilities for personal and institutional growth such diversity provides. 

The committee is co-chaired by Natalie Beck, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Teri Varner, Associate Professor of Communication. Learn more about the committee and its members on the FCDI website.

myHilltop Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Center and Key Offices

In the coming months, students, faculty and staff will be directed to a Task Center in myHilltop where DEI resources can be accessed. Until then, there will be direct links to resources from these DEI webpages. Please note that key areas on campus designated with championing university initiatives for diversity, equity and inclusion include: