Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

Liliana Garces

Associate ProfessorEd.D., Harvard University; J.D., University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Liliana Garces



Educational inequality; Higher education equity and access policies for underserved populations; Use and influence of research in Supreme Court cases


Liliana M. Garces is associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin and affiliate faculty at the University of Texas School of Law. She teaches courses on higher education law, equity and diversity in higher education, and race, law, and education. Her scholarship, which focuses on the dynamics of law and educational policy, examines access, diversity, and equity policies for underserved populations in higher education and the use and influence of research in law. Her work employs quantitative, qualitative, and legal research methods and draws from frameworks in economics, sociology, and political science, engaging in interdisciplinary research to more effectively 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, 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 on the editorial boards of four distinguished journals in education and is an active member of national organizations focused on education issues.

Over the years, Dr. Garces’s work has been featured nationally 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.  In 2014, she received the American Educational Research Association’s Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award for an article of outstanding importance to education research published in an AERA journal in the prior year. In 2015, she received the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Early Career Award.

Combining her expertise in law and education, Dr. Garces has served as legal counsel to the education community in the filing of four amicus curiae briefs in U.S. Supreme Court cases. She authored briefs on behalf of 553 social scientists in the K-12 voluntary desegregation cases, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 & Meredith v. Jefferson County (2007), and on behalf of 444 social science researchers in the affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas (2013).  Most recently, she represented 823 social scientists in a second amicus brief filed in the Fisher case. She served as counsel of record for the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California, Los Angeles, in an amicus brief filed in a challenge to the constitutionality of an affirmative action ban in Michigan, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, et al. (2014).

Before joining the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Garces was a faculty member at The Pennsylvania State University, where she served as co-director of the Center for Education and Civil Rights, and at The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She is a former post-doctorate fellow at the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Previously, Dr. Garces worked as a civil rights lawyer and a judicial law clerk in federal district court.  She 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.


WGS 393 • Equity Diversity Higher Edu

44919 • Fall 2019
Meets T 1:00PM-4:00PM SZB 364

Interdisciplinary topics relating to Women's and Gender Studies.  Seats restricted to WGS MA and Portfolio students during early registration.  Check cross-listings for home departments and originating field of study.

WGS 393 • Equity And Access In Higher Ed

47020 • Fall 2017
Meets T 1:00PM-4:00PM SZB 434

Interdisciplinary topics relating to Women's and Gender Studies.  Seats restricted to WGS MA and Portfolio students during early registration.  Check cross-listings for home departments and originating field of study.

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