Liliana M Garces

Liliana M Garces
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
Affiliate Faculty, School of Law
Affiliate Faculty, Center for Mexican American Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Office: SZB 310H
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Liliana M. Garces is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and Affiliate Faculty at the University of Texas School of Law and the Center for Mexican American Studies. She teaches courses on higher education law, equity and diversity in higher education, and race, law, and education. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of law and educational policy on access, diversity, and equity in higher education. Her projects to date have examined affirmative action policies in postsecondary admissions and the use and influence of research in law. Her most recent projects examine free speech and inclusion policy on college campuses. Her work employs quantitative, qualitative and legal research methods and draws from frameworks across multiple disciplines to tackle the complex nature of racial and ethnic inequality in K-12 and higher education. Her research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the W.E. Upjohn Institute.

Dr. Garces's scholarship has been published in a variety of top peer-reviewed education journals, including Educational Researcher, American Educational Research Journal, American Journal of Education, Journal of Higher Education, Educational Policy, Teachers College Record, Peabody Journal of Education, The Review of Higher Education, and Urban Review, as well as law journals, policy reports, and books. She is co-editor of Affirmative Action and Racial Equity: Considering the Fisher Case to Forge the Path Ahead (Routledge, 2015) and School Integration Matters: Research-Based Strategies to Advance Racial Equity (Teachers College Press, 2016). She serves as Associate Editor for The Journal of Higher Education, and is on the editorial boards for Educational Researcher and Sociology of Education. She is an active member of national organizations focused on education issues.

Over the years, Dr. Garces’s work has been featured in National Public Radio, The New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed., and other media outlets, and at various invited briefings at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Her research has been recognized by the American Education Research Association with the Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award for an article of outstanding importance to education research in 2013 and by the Association for the Study of Higher Education with the 2015 Early Career Award and with the 2020 Excellence in Public Policy Higher Education Award (Council on Public Policy in Higher Education).

Combining her expertise in law and education, Dr. Garces has represented the education community in the filing of legal briefs in U.S. Supreme Court cases that have played consequential roles in interpreting law around race-conscious policies in education. She served as counsel of record and co-wrote, with leading scholars in the field, amicus briefs joined by hundreds of social scientists in the following cases: Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District (2007) (553 signatories); Fisher v. University of Texas I (2013) (444 signatories); Fisher v. University of Texas II (2016) (823 signatories); and Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (2014) (filed by The Civil Rights Project/Projecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California, Los Angeles). Most recently, she co-authored an amicus brief filed by 678 social scientists and scholars in support of Harvard’s defense of its race-conscious admissions policies in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University.

Prior appointments before the University of Texas at Austin include: Associate Professor at The Pennsylvania State University, where she co-directed and co-founded the Center for Education and Civil Rights; Assistant Professor at The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development; and Post-Doctorate Fellow at the University of Michigan's National Poverty Center in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Prior to becoming faculty, she worked as a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation and the Legal Aid Society in DC, and as a judicial law clerk in federal district court. Dr. Garces holds a doctorate in education from Harvard University, a juris doctor from the University of Southern California School of Law, and a bachelor of arts from Brown University.