Archive for August, 2010
The U.S. News rankings appeared last week, and UT moved up this year from 47th to 45th (tied with Wisconsin).
Among public universities, we are ranked 13th. It’s worth noting that the first 21 schools in the rankings are private.
Another bit of good news is that our academic reputation remains very strong. Our undergraduate academic reputation is ranked seventh among public universities, and 27th among all universities. This means that our academic reputation rating is equal to or higher than 16 schools, public or private, that are ranked ahead of us in the overall ranking.
This fact highlights an important feature of the overall rankings. They are heavily weighted toward input factors, such as financial resources. Academic reputation counts for only 22.5%.
Thirty percent of the U.S. News ranking is derived from two specific criteria—faculty resources and financial resources. In the faculty resources category, UT ranked 96th. We trail peer institutions such as Berkeley (ranked 33rd), UCLA (41st), Virginia (37th), and North Carolina (47th). Note that, even after all of the financial turmoil in California, Berkeley and UCLA are still way ahead of UT in terms of resources.
In financial resources, we ranked 82nd. Again, we are far behind Berkeley (43rd), UCLA (23rd), Virginia (64th), and North Carolina (30th).
In short, we do more with less. We over-perform in academic reputation—and I believe in the quality of education—given the resources we commit to the academic enterprise.
But we cannot maintain that reputation, and our highly productive research enterprise, without adequate financial support. I will continue to take every opportunity to stress to the people of Texas the crucial role we play as a national research university.
Last week I had a small group of UT staff members at my home for dinner and conversation.
Whenever I spend time with our staff, I am impressed by the breadth of their experience, skills, and interests. The group included staff members who have been employed at UT for two decades as well as a newcomer who arrived on campus just last year. We talked about freshman orientation, the staff educational benefit, the campus visit by President Obama, the UT Elementary School, and preparing one’s own children for college and the resulting empty nest.
UT has a terrific staff, and it was a great evening. I believe that my guests also enjoyed meeting other staff members from around the campus. Joining me were staff from units involved in diversity, public affairs, legal affairs, the Erwin Center, alcohol and drug awareness, research, environmental safety, accounting, and administration.
By the end of the evening I discovered that the group had at least this much in common—a shared commitment to the goals and aspirations of our University.
Fifty-three Longhorns will ride into Anchorage on Friday, ending a 4,600-mile odyssey to raise money for the fight against cancer. The Texas 4000 for Cancer is the longest charity bike ride in the world – and twice as long as the Tour de France.
For the past seven summers, UT students have made the journey to Alaska and raised more than $1.5 million in the process.
I think this is one of UT’s most inspiring projects. Our students stop all across the western states to make presentations about cancer prevention and visit cancer treatment facilities.
When I see our students’ passion, good will, and dedication to saving lives, I am proud to be a Longhorn.
The Texas 4000 team will be welcomed to Anchorage by the Texas Exes Anchorage Chapter. The mayor of Anchorage will proclaim August 13 “Texas 4000 Day.”
Every morning, the team members dedicate their day’s ride for someone special. It could be a family member battling cancer, a survivor they met the previous day on the road, or a caregiver who supported them in their own battle against cancer.
This year’s team has raised more than $350,000. You can follow the progress of the 2010 Sense Corp Texas 4000 at www.texas4000.org.
President Barack Obama will deliver a speech on our campus on Monday, August 9. We confirmed today that the event will take place at 2:00 p.m. in Gregory Gym. Members of the campus community may encounter some traffic and parking disruptions.
This is an invitation only event. However, a limited number of tickets will be available to UT Austin students at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 7, at the Texas Union. Deans and vice presidents have been provided a very limited number of tickets for faculty and staff.
Some Gregory Gym facilities will be unavailable in the days ahead to accommodate the event. Vehicular traffic in the area will be restricted. For more information visit: http://www.utexas.edu/news/2010/08/05/obama_visit/
I hope our students, faculty, and staff will join me in welcoming President Obama and his staff to our campus.