A major goal of the University of Texas is to create an educational environment that reflects "the basic demographic reality" of the state, as UT President William Powers Jr. puts it.
Judged against that standard, the Austin flagship is making progress on some fronts, losing ground on another and holding its own on still others when it comes to the freshmen who enroll from Texas high schools. Overall, the university has a long way to go before the number of black and Hispanic students reflects the state's diversity.
Those conclusions emerge from UT's latest report on its implementation of the state's automatic admission law, also known as the top 10 percent law, which was modified in 2009 to give the university more discretion in deciding whom to admit. Powers had pledged to lawmakers that more discretion would allow the university to assemble a more diverse class.
The report, submitted recently to Gov. Rick Perry and legislative leaders, shows that 1,465 Hispanic students enrolled at UT from Texas high schools in 2011, a decline of 170 from a year earlier. The number of black enrollees rose by three to 356, and the number of Asians increased by 45 to 1,237. Whites dropped by 76 to 2,900. All told, 6,336 students matriculated as freshmen from high schools in Texas.