September 1, 2009

Thank You: Our Donors Leverage a Potential $31 Million in Research Funding

As the semester opens, we have great news to share. We have just announced the receipt of $16.8 million, representing 16 gifts, seven of them $1 million or more—more gifts of that size than have ever been received in one day by our University.

This giving will enable UT Dallas to claim a significant share of matching funds made available through the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP). The TRIP fund was created last spring by the Texas Legislature as a result of the passage of what has become commonly known as the “Tier One” law. This law offers funding to reward research productivity and match private funding, bringing the value of today’s gifts to UT Dallas to a potential $31.7 million.

“On October 19, early voting begins on a constitutional amendment to repurpose the Higher Education Fund as the National Research University Fund”

The law also establishes goals based on national standards that will encourage us to stretch toward the excellence we know we can attain. These funds will support research, endowed positions for faculty, and fellowships for students. They are investments that will help ensure that UT Dallas is home to even more of the smartest and most creative people to be found anywhere.

Once again, we need to take a moment to appreciate the visionary legislators who made this possible. Their hard work to come to agreement on a bill that contained an incentive for all the emerging research institutions—Texas Tech, University of Houston, University of North Texas, UT Arlington, UT Dallas, UT El Paso and UT San Antonio—has brought us to this milestone. Almost the entire Legislature voted for this effort to make the State of Texas known for its commitment to creating nationally competitive research universities.

We also are deeply grateful to our supporters. It’s very meaningful to me to see the span of individuals who supported this idea through giving that would be considered generous at any time, but is especially remarkable given current economic conditions. Community leaders, corporate partners in research, our alumni and our faculty—all made TRIP-incentivized gifts. These investments provide a long-term benefit, not only to the University but also to our community. They quicken the pace at which we can innovate and work to create the great academic research university Dallas urgently needs.

On October 19, early voting begins on a constitutional amendment to repurpose the Higher Education Fund as the National Research University Fund. This was a key part of the Tier One Law. Assuming voter approval, the repurposing of this fund will—within several years—provide a stable source of support for recruiting top quality faculty and sustaining excellence.

That may sound like a long way off, but this is not a sprint. We are just out of the starting gate on what will be a marathon, but what a great start. I can’t think of a better way to begin an academic year!

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.