September 17, 2018
Dear UT Community,
Last Thursday, I delivered my State of the University address. Thank you to all who joined me for this UT tradition.
The address looked back on a few of your many accomplishments and celebrated the progress we’ve made. But for me, the most important purpose was to talk about the priorities for our university — not just where we’ve been, but where we’re going.
I highlighted three goals for UT:
Improving access, student success and upward mobility for talented students. If we do this, we will create a strong future for our state and nation.
Increasing our commitment to faculty members and graduate students, who lead world-changing research, teaching and scholarship.
Serving the state to create a more vibrant Texas. We do this across all disciplines, fields and areas of expertise for the benefit of society.
To help achieve the first goal, I announced that the Texas Advance Commitment — which provides four years of guaranteed aid to qualified, first-time students from Texas with family incomes of up to $100,000 — has been expanded to include current sophomores, juniors and seniors to support their timely graduation. Nearly 1,900 first-year students and more than 2,700 sophomores, juniors and seniors are receiving Texas Advance Commitment aid.
I discussed the importance of qualified students having access to UT as well as the support they need to succeed once they are on campus. We’ve made great strides in increasing graduation success for students of all backgrounds and family income levels. I also announced that as part of the College to Career initiative, we will start building a new, university-wide career center for students in 2019.
Additionally, I emphasized the importance of our remarkable staff members and the work that’s been done to improve safety on campus. I asked staff and faculty members to prepare for the transition to the Workday human resources and payroll system in less than two months.
Finally, I mentioned that I was looking forward to the big game against USC. And Saturday night, Longhorn football brought home an outstanding win in front of a record-setting crowd at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. Hook ’em!
I’m proud of where we are today as a university. We have more to achieve. More to accomplish. More to discover. It’s going to be an exciting journey.
Gregory L. Fenves