President Delivers State of the University Address
Dec. 5, 2008
UT Dallas President Dr. David E. Daniel focused on such topics as enrollment growth, the University’s sound fiscal health and goals for the coming year in his annual State of the University address.
The talk, given to separate staff and faculty audiences Wednesday, also outlined new campus initiatives and strategic imperatives for 2017.
Those imperatives include building the faculty, doubling external research, adding more than 5,000 full-time students, enhancing the University’s graduation rate and improving annual giving.
Daniel began the talks by explaining changes in University administration, including a new vice president for development and a name change in that office — to Development and Alumni Relations. He also discussed putting in place a structure to help the University achieve its goal of becoming a top-tier research institution.
Daniel explained that the University’s budget is nearly balanced, with $305 million in revenue and about $304 million in expenditures. He also stated that enrollment growth this year is on track for the University’s projected growth to about 21,000 students by 2017.
“The heat is on in terms of recruitment and enrollment management, but I’m confident our staff in Enrollment Management can make a difference,” Daniel said.
Daniel stressed that faculty growth will be a key issue in the coming years, and he emphasized that “great universities have a large, strong faculty base.”
He also discussed the importance of seeing students through to graduation and the need for improving retention rates, particularly by way of initiatives like the GEMS program, which was created to help students succeed in core math and science classes at the University.
Several key construction projects were discussed during the talks, including the new student housing and dining halls, the Math Science and Engineering Teaching-Learning Center, renovations at Founders Hall, the campus landscape enhancement and proposed student services and arts and technology buildings.
Daniel also outlined programs aimed at improving efficiency:
- The Lean Initiative — for systematically identifying and eliminating inefficiency to streamline processes.
- The Customer Service Initiative — a campus-wide customer service committee that will establish guiding principles to develop a customer service program that will address the needs of students, families, faculty, staff, alumni and the community.
After each address, Daniel answered questions from the floor, including concerns about classroom space, eventual new degree programs and where the University stands on its goal to becoming a Tier One research institution.
“Our story remains to be told, but I think we can continue our growth as planned,” Daniel said in closing. “We are growing steadily, and we’re on track to achieving our goals. I truly believe we are one of the best Universities in the country right now.”
Dr. David E. Daniel
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Staff and Faculty Priorities
The president urged UT Dallas staff and faculty members to keep five priorities top of mind:
The president said the University’s bragging points include: