Dr. Denisa Gándara is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a William T. Grant Scholar, a Ford Foundation Fellow, a McNair Scholar, and a Head Start alumnus. Gándaras research examines the development of higher education policy decisions and the effects of these decisions on students who have been excluded from and underserved in higher education. An additional line of research explores how various approaches to funding colleges and universities might promote or hinder social equity. Her work has been funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the Ford Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the American Educational Research Association, among other sources. Gándara is an associate editor for The Journal of Higher Education and an editorial board member for the Journal of Postsecondary Student Success. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Higher Education Policy.
Gándara graduated as a Deans Distinguished Graduate from The University of Texas at Austin and earned a Ph.D. from the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. She was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.
Ph.D. in Higher Education, The University of Georgia, 2016
B.A. in Philosophy, Psychology Minor Spanish, Linguistics Minor, The University of Texas at Austin, 2011
Higher education finance and policy, with a focus on equity in policymaking processes and the effects of policies
Current research topics include:
the differential effects of free college (or Promise) programs on students and higher education institutions,
the development and effects of performance-based funding and other accountability policies for higher education,
varying notions of equity and adequacy in state funding of public higher education,
methods for incorporating fairness in predictive analytics used in higher education,
the use of research evidence in higher education policymaking, including the engagement of scholars of color in higher education policymaking, and
racial discourse in higher education policymaking.
Associate Editor, The Journal of Higher Education, (2021)
Students versus Institutions: How Policymakers Distribute Funds to Higher Education during an Economic Recession
Administrative Burdens in Free-College (Promise) Programs and Postsecondary Outcomes for Racially Minoritized Students
Optimization of the RPC Model: Enhancing Effectiveness and Equity in Improving the Use of Research
Fair Prediction of College Student Success Using Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines
Fiscal Equity and California's Community Colleges
Scholar, William T. Grant Scholars Program (2021)
Diana Cervantes, Ph.D., expected 2024 (Supervisor)
|2023||Spring||ELP 391P: Quant Rsch Design/Analysis|
|2022||Spring||ELP 391P: Quant Rsch Design/Analysis|
|2022||Spring||ELP 395S: Systems Of Higher Edu|