Putting Your Good Ideas to Work
Last fall, Jackie Dana, an academic adviser in the Department of Sociology, suggested that UT plant more perennials and native plants on the campus and fewer annuals that require replanting each season. Jackie submitted her idea to the Ideas of Texas website, writing “there are a number of suitable perennial flowers, shrubs, and herbs that could withstand the hot summers in Austin and yet would be aesthetically pleasing.”
In response, this summer, Landscape Services, headed by manager John Burns, will consult experts at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center—and Jackie—to re-design the gardens on the east terrace of the Main Building. Thanks, Jackie!
In the past, as mature plants died, UT Landscape Services has replaced them with native and adapted plantings, but Jackie’s idea encouraged us to explore ways we could accelerate these efforts and consider new and sustainable approaches to landscaping. Pictured above is an example of one new native plant bed located on 24th Street outside the Biological Laboratories Building. Several other beds in this area will undergo similar transformations over the next few weeks.
Jackie voiced her ideas on The Ideas of Texas website. The site allows students, alumni, faculty, and staff to submit ideas for improving the University. It also serves as a forum where visitors may vote on individual ideas, as well as submit comments. A few ideas have already been implemented. Tower Talk itself was an idea contributed by staff member Stephanie Cardenas of the Cockrell School of Engineering. Thanks, Stephanie!
The Ideas of Texas website is more than an electronic suggestion box. It’s a way to have your ideas evaluated by the office or department closest to the relevant process—and to know that it will be considered. This summer nearly 400 ideas, submitted before April 1, are under review. In this period of limited financial resources, some good ideas will not be feasible at the moment. Nevertheless, we will implement ideas that make us more efficient, provide better services to our constituents, improve the student experience, and save money.
I hope you’ll visit the site and contribute your ideas for building a stronger UT.