Following a national search, Southwestern University has hired David A. Ortiz, Ph.D. as the inaugural Vice President for Equity, Accountability, and Inclusive Excellence.

Dr. Ortiz has over 30 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member, executive administrator, and nationally recognized advocate for diversity in post-secondary education.

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Ortiz to Southwestern University,” President Laura Skandera Trombley said. “His extensive background and experience is a strategic addition to Southwestern University’s administration and his position contributes to the fulfillment of the University’s 5-year tactical plan.”

A newly created role on campus, the Vice President of Equity, Accountability, and Inclusive Excellence (EAIE) is responsible for providing leadership to advance the University’s goals and their connection to student success and retention. Dr. Ortiz will facilitate cross-departmental education and training programs and will develop policies, procedures, and programs to create an equitable experience for all members of the campus community. He will also lead initiatives to enhance and improve student, faculty, and staff retention.

Dr. Ortiz comes to Southwestern from Texas Lutheran University (TLU) in Seguin, where he served as Vice President for three years. He worked to champion opportunities for students, faculty, and staff, and was responsible for all matters relating to diversity, equal access, and the prevention of discrimination and harassment. He secured the largest grant in TLU history, totaling $2.89 million, and set a school record with $3.12 million in total diversity-related grants in one academic year.

“I am enthusiastic about channeling this energy, insight, and strategic approach into advancing a funding protocol and vision for Southwestern University,” Ortiz said. “This initiative aligns with the university’s mission-driven goal of serving students from historically excluded communities and supporting innovative ideas. I am eager to collaborate with the team to develop these initiatives holistically, rooted in the spirit of diversity and inclusive excellence.”

Prior to his time at TLU, Dr. Ortiz was the Senior Vice President for Operations and Chief Operating Officer for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). He used this national platform to advocate for colleges across the country and the diverse students they enroll. He aims to use this experience to further benefit Southwestern, which was recently designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education.

Throughout his career, Dr. Ortiz has held numerous executive leadership and faculty appointments including positions at University of the Incarnate Word, Concordia University Texas, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Baylor University, Oklahoma State University, Indiana University, and Texas A&M University. He has published, presented, or keynoted over 100 times on issues related to diversity in higher education.

Most recently, Dr. Ortiz was selected as the 2023 Texas A&M University School of Education and Human Development’s Outstanding Alumni. His research and leadership on diversity in higher education has also been recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Association for the Study of Higher Education Excellence in Public Policy, ACPA: College Student Educators International, Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators, National College Learning Center Association and other organizations.

Dr. Ortiz graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor of science in sociology and a master of science in educational administration. He received his Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from Indiana University.

As an avid runner, he has completed 34 marathons and 17 ultra-marathons. Dr. Ortiz looks forward to meeting the Southwestern family in classrooms, offices, gathering spaces, and on the running trails of Georgetown.

He is scheduled to officially join the Southwestern staff on September 1, 2024.