Archive For Student, Faculty & Staff
The 1980s and 1990s were a time of rapid social, economic, and technological change. In his new book, The Texas Way, former UT president and UT System chancellor Bill Cunningham provides a valuable memoir. I’ve been eagerly reading this book – learning more than I knew about Chancellor Cunningham and learning at an even deeper level why Texas is the way it is. From minority recruitment and alumni relations to the increased security on the Fourth Floor of the Main Building and the intricacies of relations with the greater Austin community, The Texas Way is full of insights and should be read by everyone who aspires to understand the University or what it takes to lead complex organizations.
Bill’s book paints a vivid picture of where UT was at a particular time, and it reminds us how much the University developed under his leadership. Bill, thank you for that leadership, for planting those trees during your tenure as president and as chancellor that are still yielding fruit today and will long into the future. And thank you for this valuable contribution to UT history.
On Monday, UT’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers inducted four new members into its ranks. I’d like to share a little bit about each of this year’s inductees:
- Sheldon Ekland-Olson has long been a beloved teacher and currently has appointments in three UT colleges and schools in including the College of Natural Sciences, where he serves as director of our School of Human Ecology; the College of Liberal Arts, where he is a longtime professor of sociology; and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Sheldon has also served as provost of the University.
- Calvin Lin is a professor of computer sciences in our College of Natural Sciences. He recruits top Texas high school students away from the Ivy League and to our honors program, the Turing Scholars Program. And he inspires students in the classroom and on the Ultimate Frisbee field. Calvin’s teaching philosophy builds on the same three principles that implicitly shaped his nationally ranked Ultimate teams: Set high expectations, create a culture of success, and involve the individuals.
- Juan Miro brings his students into the fold of architectural practice, guiding them to understand that design is a holistic process. His passion for architecture is demonstrated from teaching studio classes to leading students on architectural tours of Mexico each summer. And he contributes to the community with his own designs. Juan’s students do not simply learn the technical aspects of architecture but become thinkers, builders, and artists.
- Theresa O’Halloran of the School of Biological Sciences, keeps undergraduates engaged through non-traditional methods that might include peer-to-peer instruction or physically active classroom exercises. She uses an entire class of students to act out the formation of proteins. Theresa challenges her students to think critically, and they flock to her classes as well as to opportunities to work in her lab, which often lead to graduate work in biology and medicine.
Members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers are the best of the best, and I’m proud of these four and all of our 118 current members.
What starts here changes the world.
In the fall of 1981, a former track star, coach, and athletics director at Kansas State reported for duty as the new athletics director here at The University of Texas. Few would have suspected that 32 years later, DeLoss Dodds would be retiring here as one of the giants of college athletics. His vision reshaped UT Austin and the entire NCAA, and it’s been an honor to both work with him and call him a friend for so many years.
- During his tenure, nine Longhorn men’s teams have won 14 national championships and 108 conference titles.
- He has overseen hundreds of millions of dollars in facilities upgrades.
- He has guided us through multiple conference realignments.
- And he has been a driving force behind innovations like The Longhorn Network, helping to spread the Longhorn spirit far and wide.
Over the past three decades, not only have our Longhorn teams regularly won conference and national championships, but they’ve produced the highest quality student-athletes and — like DeLoss — displayed integrity on and off the field.
He embodies all that is great about the University, the state of Texas, and college sports. DeLoss has laid the foundation for generations of Longhorn athletes to come. And though we will never truly be able to replace him, I will lead the nationwide search beginning today to find his successor.
He might have been a quarter-miler on the track, but on our campus, he found his true distance, and gave to the world of athletics his greatest gifts: vision, innovation, and integrity.
Thank you for all you’ve done, DeLoss. God bless you, and Hook ’em Horns.
In 2009, three couples loaned UT’s Harry Ransom Center a remarkable collection of nearly 200,000 prints from many of the 20th century’s most accomplished photographers, the Magnum Photos agency. On Friday night, in conjunction with the grand opening of the Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age exhibition at the Ransom Center, I had the honor of announcing that the donors — Michael and Susan Dell, Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, and John and Amy Phelan — have donated the collection to UT Austin. Both culturally and financially, this is one of the largest gifts to the University in our history.
Words are not enough to thank these families for this momentous gift. The Longhorn family can thank them best by attending the exhibition and appreciating the educational and cultural treasure that this collection represents. This remarkable collection will enrich our students’ education, will bolster our faculty’s resources, and will attract scholars from around the world yet again to UT Austin’s Ransom Center.
In addition to my gratitude to our donors, I also thank the dedicated staff of the Ransom Center; gifts of this magnitude would not, time and again, find their home at The University of Texas if our staff’s archival expertise and artful care did not win the trust of donors. Harry Ransom’s dream is being fulfilled, and the state of Texas is the better for it.
What starts here changes the world.
Next weekend, Sept 27-29, the Texas Tribune and UT Austin will partner for the third time in presenting TribFest, a gathering on the UT campus of Texas newsmakers, journalists, and thought leaders to examine some of the most important policy issues affecting our state.
UT faculty, staff, and students can attend for a discounted rate of $50. Students (high school and college) have the option of working one shift of the event in exchange for admission to the festival plus several special events designed just for them in coordination with UT’s Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. Full details are online. Student highlights include:
- Friday, 9/27 – Kick-off pizza party for students at the Cactus Cafe with networking tips and help on getting the most out of the festival.
- Saturday, 9/28 – A student lounge stocked with snacks, drinks, and charging stations is open all day in the Student Activity Center, Room 1.106. Throughout the day, students can attend several private sessions in the lounge with festival sponsors and speakers.
- Sunday, 9/29 – Following the festival’s closing session, students attend a live TribCast podcast recording in KUT’s Studio 1A featuring free lunch, a KUT tour, a performance by Kevin Russell of The Gourds, and more.
For more information, visit:
#StudentsAtTheFest site: http://www.texastribune.org/festival/2013/students/
Tribune Festival site: http://www.texastribune.org/festival/2013/home/
This is one of the many extracurricular events on our campus that adds tremendous value to a UT Austin education. I hope many of you take advantage of it.
On Wednesday, I had the privilege of delivering my eighth State of the University Address. If you were not able to join me at B. Iden Payne Theatre on campus or to watch the address on the Longhorn Network, you can read the speech here or watch it here.
We’ve had a momentous year on many fronts. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to hear about what we’ve accomplished and to understand my vision of where The University of Texas — and American higher education — should go in the years to come.
Thank you for all you are doing to help us become America’s No. 1 public university.
What starts here changes the world.
On Wednesday, a who’s who of the University of Texas community gathered at the LBJ Auditorium to give thanks for the life of Dr. Bill Livingston, who passed away on August 15 at the age of 93. For roughly the last half of the University’s history, he served and guided the institution in ways that can never be fully measured. He arrived in 1948 as a new government professor and rose through a multitude of administrative roles, eventually to serve as interim president and finally as senior vice president.
As a community, we offer our condolences to the Livingston family and most especially to Lana, his wife of 70 years, whom he adored and who shared him so fully with us.
As I told the gathering, Bill Livingston was to The University of Texas what Barton Springs is to the city of Austin: a never-ending source of refreshment and enjoyment, the essence of what is unique and best about our community, a fixture of our landscape, the time before which none of us can remember, and a treasure we cannot picture our community without.
Few besides him have given their lives so completely to the University, and none have better embodied its ideals.
You can watch the moving remembrance of Dr. Livingston at http://youtu.be/DliTK3Cxo14
It’s time for some straight talk. Today, we open the final chapter of this great undertaking we call the Campaign for Texas. We have one year left in an eight-year fundraising campaign, and we have reached 75 percent of our goal. It doesn’t take a UT mathematician to figure out that it’s crunch time.
Seven years ago, when my team and I set the goal at $3 billion, we knew we were taking a risk. But I also knew something else — that we’re Longhorns, and that Longhorns are a different breed. I knew that the bond between UT alumni and their alma mater is powerful — that alumni and friends have risen to meet one audacious challenge after another and have done whatever it took to keep this a university of the first class. I believed then — and I absolutely believe now — that we can do this, and that we will.
I can say it no more plainly: UT needs you, and it needs you now.
If you have given before, thank you, and please give again. If you haven’t given yet, join the team and be a part of this historic effort. Please watch this short video (that is sure to bring back a happy memory), then go to http://giving.utexas.edu/homestretch/ and make a gift today.
I know we can do this. Let’s make history, together.
After Commencement, this is my favorite time of the Longhorn year.
On campus, you can feel the excitement of new students as they begin an experience that will help set the course for the rest of their lives. Last night, they gathered on the Main Mall to celebrate this new chapter with a freshman convocation we call Gone to Texas. Music, spirit groups, and speakers primed our freshmen for a great college career.
Tonight, Aug. 28, at the end of our first class day, we continue another great tradition with the Second Annual Big Yell! & Texas Football Town Hall Meeting, followed by the Class of 2017 group photo. The event is free for all UT students. Gates at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium open at 5 p.m., and students should enter through Gates 14 or 16 at the north end of the stadium. The Big Yell! & Texas Football Town Hall Meeting starts 5:45 p.m. Hosted by UT Athletics and the Texas Exes, the event will be a crash course in UT tradition, featuring live appearances by Texas Cheer & Pom, Bevo, Smokey the Cannon, Big Bertha, the Longhorn Marching Band, and the world’s largest Texas flag. I will introduce Coach Mack Brown, who will talk about the upcoming season. Here’s a preview:
Afterward, the band will form a large Longhorn silhouette on the field, and our freshmen will fill it in for a class photo.
I welcome back all of you who have been away. Let’s have a great year!
Hook ’em Horns!
For several years, UT Austin has been rapidly developing its capabilities in the field known as blended and online learning. We have now reached the point at which decisions must be made, and the new technology of education must be embraced and developed by a much wider circle of faculty members and campus leaders. Our students – native-users of technology – increasingly expect internet technology to play a part in all they do, including their education, and it is already enhancing the learning experience in profound ways.
But big questions face us in this new paradigm: Who will control the curriculum? How do we reward faculty for their work in online courses? What will this mean for academic standards? How do we get the most out of our efforts and share our expertise with like institutions? How do we make blended and online learning financially sustainable?
Today, I’m releasing a report that addresses some of these large questions, including the five principles that should guide us as we move forward in this world of new educational possibilities. You can read my report on this webpage.
I’m proud that our campus is full of pioneers in this important area. These are exciting times in education.
Hook ’em Horns,