AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Lucia Gilbert, professor of educational psychology and director of women’s studies at The University of Texas at Austin, and Gerald Torres, professor of law and associate dean of academic affairs in the UT School of Law, have been named vice provosts at the University.
UT Austin Executive Vice President and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson announced the appointments, which are effective June 1.
Gilbert, who has been at the University since 1975, specializes in gender and relationships, parenting in two-career families and gender issues in mental health. She and the Center for Women’s Studies at UT recently published The Middle School Girls’ Selected Annotated Reading List and Resource Guide, a reading list and resource guide for Texas middle school girls and their teachers, librarians and parents. The resource received the excellence award this spring from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
“Professor Lucia Gilbert brings a sterling research and teaching background as well as substantial organizational skills to the position of vice provost,” said Ekland Olson. “I greatly admire the intelligent, talented savvy and tenacity with which she attacks problems. Plus, she is a delight to work with.”
Torres is the H.O. Head Centennial Professor of Real Property Law. Immediately prior to coming to UT Austin, he served in the U.S. Department of Justice, first as deputy assistant attorney general for environment and natural resources and then as counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno. In those roles, he had principal responsibility for advising the attorney general on issues of environmental policy and law, and on issues affecting Native Americans. While at the Justice Department, Torres established the Office of Tribal Justice to coordinate Indian legal issues at the department.
“I am delighted to report that Professor Gerald Torres has accepted the position of vice provost,” Ekland-Olson said. “We have talked at some length about the planning and improving of programs associated with Latin America and about the need for strengthening student and faculty recruitment. I can think of no one more capable of moving us forward in these important dimensions of the University’s life and mission.”
Gilbert received a bachelor’s degree from Wells College and a master’s degree from Yale University, both in chemistry. She earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology at UT Austin. During her career, Gilbert has won numerous awards for her teaching and research, including the Carolyn Wood Sherif Award for outstanding contributions to the psychology of women and the John Holland Award for outstanding achievement in career and personality research, awarded by the American Psychological Association. She also is a recipient of the prestigious Texas Excellence Teaching Award and the Outstanding Professor of Education Award at UT.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this new administrative team as we go into the next century,” said Gilbert. “The University has a new president, new provost and many new challenges ahead. As we set goals and initiatives to meet these challenges, I feel there is a real sense of inclusiveness, that our voices are really going to be heard. I believe I will be working with people who will actually encourage boldness and creativity — people who will help bring about the changes that are needed as UT continues to struggle to become a better university for students, faculty, staff and the state.”
Torres was graduated from Stanford University in 1974 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and received his J.D. from the Yale Law School and his LL.M. from the University of Michigan Law School. Before coming to UT, Torres was professor of law and associate dean at the University of Minnesota Law School. Torres is among the first legal scholars to address the disparate effect of environmental regulation on different racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups. He has been directly involved in the debate over the management and legal protection of Native American land and religion.
I am excited about this opportunity to be involved in the many international initiatives the University has undertaken,” said Torres. “As the flagship University in this state, we have special obligations of leadership. With the globalization of the economy, these obligations are increasingly international. I also look forward to working with the departments to continue to attract a great faculty as well as a great student body that will represent and serve the people of Texas.”