September 16, 2019
Dear UT Staff and Faculty Members,
Every week, I see remarkable achievements at UT — in teaching, research, health care, public service and beyond. The UT community has an extraordinary capacity for accomplishment, creativity and impact. Yet, at times, I’ve seen the university’s collective brilliance undermined by individual ethical lapses.
As the flagship university in Texas, we are held to the highest standards in all aspects of our work and conduct. And any time we fall short, we erode the trust of those UT was founded to serve — the students who dedicate themselves to earning degrees, the society that relies on our breakthroughs in research, and the public that supports us.
To strengthen our commitment to ethics, Chief Compliance Officer Leo Barnes and University Compliance Services have created a new initiative called Honor Texas.
With Honor Texas, the university will engage UT faculty and staff members in a variety of ways, including:
- Ethics and Leadership Discussion Groups — Faculty experts on leadership and ethics will introduce concepts and present participants with real-world scenarios where ethics and ethical dilemmas have played a role.
- Campus-Wide Survey — The UT community will be able to answer a wide range of questions about ethics. The responses will inform leadership and direct future activities for Honor Texas.
My hope is that every unit on campus — whether at a faculty or staff meeting, as part of a small work group, or at various events within colleges and departments — has meaningful discussions about ethical conduct and expectations.
At UT, our progress begins with a shared commitment to improve. Then, an understanding of accountability can take hold. That’s what Honor Texas is all about — building that understanding and considering ethics in everything we do.
Gregory L. Fenves