The University of Texas at Dallas
August 2016
To UT Dallas students, faculty, staff members, alumni and friends,
As the academic year gets underway, I expect to go through an experience much like that of our newest students, and be immersed in all things UT Dallas: our culture, its history, its excellence and its dreams for the future.

Along the way, I hope to continue what I term my “listening tour.” I enjoy getting out of my office and learning from the people who make this institution a dynamic hub of activity and innovation. I am curious to know just how we’re using chemistry to revive historically important paintings; how we’re solving mysteries of pain, delving into the complexities of Alzheimer’s, and understanding the world’s economic markets; and how we’re helping our kids survive in a digital world.

From my travels across campus and around the community, I have come to this conclusion: UT Dallas owes much to the leadership of my predecessors — Dr. David E. Daniel and Dr. Hobson Wildenthal. Evidence of their strategic influence can be seen throughout campus — in our truly outstanding students, distinguished faculty, dedicated staff, successful alumni, innovative programs and remarkable facilities.

University Convocation

Members of the women’s basketball team attended the University Convocation, where President Richard Benson addressed a crowd of about 4,000 new students.

I had the privilege this summer to tour the new Bioengineering and Sciences Building, which is a 220,000-square-foot testament to their vision and to our commitment to interdisciplinary research. Here, talented minds from vastly different fields are working side by side in state-of-the-art facilities to find new approaches that come from blending diverse perspectives.

Crossing boundaries and encouraging creative partnerships have been keys to this University’s success; in fact, it was born from them. The University was founded by the fathers of Texas Instruments, who didn’t hesitate to reach out of the corporate realm and establish a place of higher learning. As an engineer who began my career in private industry and later moved into the academic world, I know that nourishing this symbiotic relationship with our technology partners in the Metroplex is a win-win proposition for UT Dallas, the community and our students.

Dr. Daniel has left us with an excellent blueprint in the University’s strategic plan. In reading it, I was struck by the critical role of state support for emerging research universities. I want to be certain that UT Dallas remains successful in securing that continued support while solidifying its path to becoming a Tier One national research university. I welcome opportunities to champion this University, through micro-chats across campus, in conversations with community partners, and during interactions with other leaders in Texas.

It’s clear our momentum will not slow. I am particularly encouraged by our recent rise in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, which placed us among 115 select American universities recognized in the highest research category.

Our progress also remains visible, with several more buildings under construction, which will better serve students and provide vital room for instruction and research.

But probably the best evidence of our promise is the growing number of exceptional students and faculty arriving here each fall.

For me, my wife Leslie, and my fellow new arrivals, let’s become devoted Comets together. Let’s learn to traverse campus with native precision; let’s watch mind-blowing chess tournaments; let’s cheer at athletic contests; and let’s search for the best nearby Tex-Mex cuisine.

Let’s lean in … and enjoy the Whoosh!

Richard C. Benson, President

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. Richard C. Benson, president of The University of Texas at Dallas, and provides the ultimate insider’s view on the news and concerns of the University.

The University of Texas at Dallas // 800 W. Campbell Road, Richardson, Texas 75080-3021
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