November 6, 2012, will be remembered as a momentous day in the history of The University of Texas. It was the day that a UT Austin medical school became a reality.
Yesterday, the voters of Travis County agreed, through passage of Proposition 1, to add the final crucial piece of the funding puzzle to this complex project. It would not have happened without the energy and leadership of Sen. Kirk Watson, and I want to thank him again for sharing our passion for this issue and leading the charge so ably. Additionally, I would like to thank our Board of Regents and the Seton Healthcare Family for supplying the school’s other major building blocks. Healthy ATX and its members as well as UT students themselves were crucial to the initiative’s success. I am sure that numerous other partners will join the project in time.
A medical school will forever change the scale and scope of UT Austin education and research, and it will bring much needed specialties and community health care to Central Texas. In the coming months, we will form a steering committee of academic and medical leaders, begin the search for the school’s inaugural dean, finalize the financial strategy, and move swiftly ahead on numerous logistical fronts such as where to construct the school’s teaching hospital and academic buildings. Our goal is to open the school to its first 50 students in the fall of 2015.
I’m grateful to the citizens of Travis County for their vote of confidence in UT Austin’s ability to leverage our state’s flagship university for the betterment of the whole community. I’m equally excited about what this will mean for our faculty and students in the years and decades ahead.
What starts here changes the world.