President: University is On Track to Achieve Goals
He Calls Quest for Excellence, Service Orientation Keys to University’s Future
Nov. 5, 2009
UT Dallas President David E. Daniel said the University was “on track” to meet many parameters of its strategic plan during his annual State of Our University Address on Nov. 4.
In recognition of their hard work and outstanding achievements, he also gave the faculty and staff an early holiday present. The gift? The University will be closed Monday, Dec. 21.
About 350 faculty members, staff, retirees, students and members of the public gathered at the Conference Center for the presentation and question-and-answer session.
Daniel opened the briefing with the University’s strategic plan and organizational priorities. He emphasized a sustained commitment to excellence in each endeavor by every member of the University community.
“In everything, I ask myself: Is this excellent? I expect excellence and hope we all demand it,” said Daniel.
He praised many University points of pride, including the high average SAT scores of UT Dallas freshmen; strength of the chess, debate, basketball and volleyball teams; and high rankings of several academic programs.
Daniel then assessed, by major objective, the University’s progress toward achieving strategic imperatives by 2017:
- Student body growth - The University’s preliminary fall 2009 enrollment is 15,784.
- Faculty growth – The Number of tenured and tenure-track faculty grew 5.5 percent from the prior fiscal year.
- Staff growth – Staff positions increased 5.6 percent from the previous year.
- Campus growth – The new Residence and Dining Halls opened this fall, both of which “create a community feel,” he said. Daniel mentioned other construction projects in progress, including the Campus Landscape Enhancement, Student Services Building and Math, Science & Engineering Teaching – Learning Center.
- Development successes – The University received $14 million in private support during FY09, and on Sept. 1, announced nearly $17 million in gifts. Because of matching funds from the State’s Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP), the gift total reached $32.1 million.
“Scaling up is important because it enriches the educational experience of our students,” said Daniel.
He discussed continuing programs which help keep the University competitive, including:
- The Lean Initiative - The systematic approach takes multi-step campus processes and removes unnecessary steps to create efficiency and reduce strain on existing resources.
- Customer Service Initiative – The campus-wide approach to service to students and to the community has resulted in special assistance for students on Move-In Day and on the first day of classes.
“The window is wide open right now with opportunity,” said Daniel as he noted the University’s strong position as compared to other academic institutions across the U.S. “However, good things take time.”
After the address, Daniel answered questions from the floor, including queries about administrative expenses, how students can help UT Dallas become a Tier One institution and how the passage of Proposition 4 affects the University.
“Our key to success is simply to continue to focus on excellence,” said Daniel.
UT Dallas President David E. Daniel said the University had made progress on a number of fronts in the past year.
The University’s preliminary fall 2009 enrollment is 15,784.
Growth in Research Expenditures
Research spending has also shown steady growth, the president said.