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UT System leveraging data to promote student success, equity

Lumina Foundation grant will fund data analytics initiative

Lumina Foundation has awarded The University of Texas System a $550,000 grant to use the power of data to help more students—especially historically underserved and minority populations in Texas—start and complete quality degrees at UT institutions.

Aligned with Lumina’s Guided Pathway Approach, the UT System’s Data Agency, Action, and Insight: Redesigning Student Pathways to Ensure Equity initiative will fund three interrelated projects to propel student success. These projects include:

  • redesigning curricular pathways with a focus on innovative courses and credentials;
  • making equity-centered data, research, practice, and policy the default across UT institutions; and
  • utilizing research and data analytics to resolve equity gaps for successful degree-completion and entry into the workforce.

Dr. Archie Holmes, UT System’s executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, said he was grateful to Lumina for its support.

“The grant builds on the innovation mindset of faculty and academic leaders across the UT System who have been working to update the curriculum to better prepare current students for a complex world and better reach the students we want to be serving,” Holmes said.

Over the next two years, the grant funding will be used to provide sustained professional development to faculty and academic leaders, examine and transform curricular pathways, and produce equitable outcomes through quality programs, supports, and experiences. The project also will use data analytics to create new metrics that will better identify students before they fall through the cracks and provide them with targeted programs and services. Dr. David Troutman, chief data officer and associate vice chancellor for institutional research and analysis, and Dr. Rebecca Karoff, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, will co-lead the grant.

“The data we have tell stories that we can use to personalize educational pathways for our students in powerful ways,” said Troutman. “We want more of that data in the hands of faculty and student success leaders on our campuses so they, too, can act on it to benefit students.”

Dr. John Wiebe, provost and vice president for academic affairs at UT El Paso, said the grant could help spotlight and address barriers to student success.

“At UTEP, we are carefully reviewing our curriculum to better understand potential ambiguities, roadblocks, or bottlenecks that stymie student success,” Wiebe said. “Participating in the grant would provide us with additional data that could both help us better confront the challenges we already know and identify potential issues not yet revealed.”

About The University of Texas System

For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 13 institutions, an enrollment of more than 243,000 students and an operating budget of $23.4 billion (FY 2022), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 64,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than half of its medical degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 8.6 million outpatient visits and almost 1.8 million hospital days in 2020. UT institutions also are among the most innovative in the world, collectively ranking No. 4 for most U.S. patents granted in 2020, and the UT System is No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation in federal research expenditures. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 85,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.

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