Chair's Welcome

Photo of Victor Saenz
Victor Saenz

Welcome to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP) in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. ELP has built a strong national reputation for producing award-winning and equity-minded educational leaders, scholars, and policy researchers through our masters and doctoral degree programs in school leadership, higher education leadership, and education policy. 

Our department has a rich legacy of students and faculty working collaboratively across sectors to address key issues in education with a commitment to equity and social justice. It begins with a group of faculty committed to working with students to provide meaningful experiential and field-based experiences that enrich learning in and out of the classroom. We have a strong core of senior faculty with years of executive experience in training leaders and scholars for P-12 and higher education, mid-career and junior faculty who employ equity-minded lenses in their expansive research agendas, and clinical faculty who possess years of professional experience that they bring into their classrooms. We train our school leaders and education researchers for equity-focused work within increasingly complex educational contexts, and our current faculty are engaged in critical research and practice that informs these new educational realities.

Prospective students interested in applying to our graduate programs should consider our strong legacy of training equity-minded scholars and practitioners. We train policy scholars who address emerging education policy issues and are committed to researching inequities in schools for all students. We prepare school leaders who anchor their practice in social justice and anti-racist leadership. We provide powerful learning experiences that are deeply grounded in fieldwork within schools and communities. These experiences launch our master’s and doctoral students into meaningful careers as scholar-practitioners with an optimal blend of theory and practice. Our graduate students emerge from our programs equipped to not only navigate multiple policy arenas and institutional contexts but also to effectively influence and impact key policy and practice conversations across sectors of education.

We continue to face unprecedented challenges brought on by the disruptions of COVID-19. Our educational leaders have never been more challenged than they are right now and in the coming year, facing unchartered territory on fiscal and educational matters. Simply put, our schools and higher education institutions will never be the same. Whatever may come we remain true to our department’s mission to develop the finest leaders and researchers who can be ready to face the uncertain challenges that lie ahead. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months. I wish you a safe and healthy year ahead.

Hook ‘Em.

Signature of Dr. Victor Saenz

Victor B. Sáenz, Ph.D.
Chair, Educational Leadership and Policy
The University of Texas at Austin