Texas Lutheran University has appointed Dr. David Ortiz as the inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to oversee comprehensive institutional efforts for promoting a diverse, equitable, ethical, and inclusive campus. Dr. Ortiz will begin his duties on February 15, coming to TLU from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), where he served as Senior Vice President for Operations and advocated for colleges in their work with diverse student populations across the country.
“I am so pleased that Dr. Ortiz is joining our community and I’m very excited to see the impact he will have as we work to pursue the many diversity, equity, and inclusion opportunities afforded us at this time,” President Debbie Cottrell said. “Dr. Ortiz brings a particularly strong set of leadership experiences to this new position, and I know that he appreciates both the place that TLU is and the place that we can become.”
In his most recent role at HACU, Dr. Ortiz acted as the organization’s chief data analyst where he monitored, tracked, and wrote about national trends. His recently published national report, “From Funding to Practice: A Status Report on Federal Funding and High Impact Programs Among Hispanic-Serving Institutions,” was commissioned by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
His leadership role at HACU positions Dr. Ortiz to address diversity in areas and departments across campus.
“At HACU, I had the opportunity to create one of the nation’s premier leadership programs, The Leadership Academy,” he said. “This one-year program was designed to prepare the next generation of culturally diverse leaders for executive and senior-level positions in higher education. Having worked side-by-side with university presidents and executive search firms in this program, I have gained tremendous insight into strategies for designing a campus plan that creates a pathway for equity and inclusion within student life, admissions, and academics."
He looks forward to joining a campus of faith and learning at an institution that places great emphasis on servant leadership and social justice.
“These next few years will be an exciting time as we build inclusive excellence at every level,” he said. “We know that change in general happens at glacial speed in higher education. However, based on my conversations with students, staff, and faculty, TLU is ready for a change that will usher in a dynamic approach to the celebration and integration of diversity. I am excited to be a part of this process, empowering those around me, while also learning from them as well.”
The VPDEI will report to President Cottrell as a member of the President’s Cabinet and is responsible for strategic planning, education, and coordination on all matters relating to diversity, equal access, and the prevention of discrimination and harassment. Dr. Ortiz will also work directly with faculty, staff, and students to further a culture of inclusive learning, living, and working.
The VPDEI will also serve as TLU’s Title IX coordinator where he will be responsible for creating programs and initiatives around diversity, harassment, and discrimination prevention while ensuring compliance with state and federal laws focused on civil rights and equal opportunity. He will also oversee an organizational structure that includes the Office of Human Resources and the Title IX Compliance Office.
Dr. Ortiz holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Indiana University with a major in higher education administration and a minor in counseling psychology. He is the founding director of the University of the Incarnate Word Graduate Support Center where he re-engineered student support services which contributed to nearly tripling attendance at orientation and a doubling in three-year graduation rates among Latinx graduate students. He was also appointed by the president of UIW to serve as Title IX deputy coordinator.