June 1, 2009

Overachievers on a Mission:
Four Years of UT Dallas People and Their Accomplishments

As preparation for spring commencement got underway, one of the staff noted that this graduation would include the first undergraduate class whose studies took place entirely during my time as president. Four years is what many of us think of as a typical undergraduate’s college career. (Though research tells us that nationally it’s often taking students five to six years to graduate, for many highly accomplished UT Dallas students, three years is more than enough time to earn a degree.)

So in this year’s graduation send-off, it seemed appropriate to include a message of thanks to the Class of 2009 for sticking with me through my freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years as president. I’m well aware that I did some learning on the job, and am deeply grateful to some of UT Dallas’ most senior leaders, in particular Provost and Executive Vice President Hobson Wildenthal, whose counsel has been and is invaluable.

I’m also grateful to UT Dallas students, faculty and staff. When we think of how the University is faring, it’s their achievements that really tell the tale of this past four years, which include:

  • 15,717 degrees awarded, including 509 PhDs. Two-thirds of our degree recipients stay right here in the DFW area.
  • $200 million in research expenditures, spent right here to develop the talent needed to build and sustain a vibrant economy and city.
  • Two more faculty members elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and one new Nobel laureate added to our faculty.
  • $91 million in private funds raised from alumni and friends to support the University.
  • 17 new degree programs launched, including a PhD in Geospatial Information Sciences, an MA in Political Science, BA and MA degrees in Emerging Media and Communications, BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering, MS degrees in Finance and Supply Chain Management, and an MS in Psychological Sciences.
  • 120 intellectual property disclosures, 96 patent filings, five new start-up companies spun out of the University, and dozens of other companies aided by our research and people.
  • Zero gridiron losses – we remain undefeated!

Today marks my fourth anniversary as UT Dallas’ president. It is a tremendous honor and pleasure to serve at the helm of this distinctive institution. The view ahead is bright with promise. I have never been more appreciative of the importance of our success for our region’s future or more confident about UT Dallas’ destiny.

We like to say that we’re creating the future here. More than ever, that future is linked to our brains, creativity, and passion for achievement. As we prepare to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our institution’s joining the UT System, I feel deeply proud to be associated with UT Dallas faculty, staff and students—an outstanding group of overachievers, determined to build one of the nation’s best universities right here in Dallas!

About This Newsletter

The President's Viewpoint is a periodic newsletter distributed to a select group of alumni, friends, faculty and staff. It comes from the desk of Dr. David E. Daniel, President of The University of Texas at Dallas, and provides the ultimate insider’s view on the news and concerns of the university.