Educational Leadership and Policy New Faculty 2017

The College of Education is happy to welcome 15 new faculty members for the 2017-2018 academic year. This year, the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy is joined by Liliana Garces.


photo of Liliana Garces

Liliana Garces - Associate Professor

Liliana Garces

What institution were you most previously with and what was your role?

Most recently, I was an Associate Professor at Penn State University, where I was also the co-director of The Center on Education and Civil Rights.

What are your research interests?  

My research interests lie at the intersection of law and educational policy. My work mainly focuses on examining policies and practices that relate to diversity, access, and equity for marginalized populations in higher education. I also examine the use and influence of social science research in legal cases.

What sparked those interests?  

My research interests stem from my commitment to social justice and to helping ensure that historically marginalized voices are represented and valued in critical areas of our society. Before becoming a faculty member, I worked as a civil rights lawyer. I became a lawyer because I wanted to work on behalf of marginalized populations in our society in an area that I viewed as integral for social change. I see my work in academia as a natural extension of this commitment, in a role in which I can help generate knowledge to inform policy and practice.

What are you excited about for your new position at UT? 

I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with my new colleagues in the Educational Administration department and to continue the work making a difference in the field.  I’m also looking forward to getting to know our graduate students in the college of education, the law school, and other areas across the university.

Is there anyone in the department or program whom you wanted to work with or who inspired you to join us? 

Interestingly, I feel like my connection to UT Austin extends back to 2012, when I served as a counsel of record for an amicus brief filed by 444 social scientists in support of the university’s race-conscious admissions policy in the Fisher v. University of Texas Supreme Court case. I’m honored to now have the opportunity to join the community of scholars in the higher education program and excited to meet and collaborate with other faculty in the college.

What do you hope to contribute to College of Education or the Austin community?

I hope to contribute to the proud tradition of preparing future leaders and researchers in our field and to continue with my research. For one of my projects, I’d like to study how institutions are responding to the Fisher decision. I’d also like to understand what factors might help institutions and administrators implement lessons from social science research in their policies and practices. All too often, there is a disconnect between research findings and the application of this research on the ground. I hope to bridge this gap in my work.

What is your starting date?

August, 2017.