National Academy of Engineering welcomes four UT faculty


NationalEngineersNew inductees clockwise from top-left, Thomas Edgar, Greg Fenves, Yale Patt, and Bob Schutz. With them are, left, C.D.  Mote Jr., President, National Academy of Engineering, and right, Charles O. Holliday Jr., Chairman, National Academy of Engineering.

Last week, four professors from UT’s Cockrell School of Engineering traveled to Washington, D.C., for their induction into the National Academy of Engineering. UT Austin had the most new members of any university this year. The academy inducted 67 new members and 11 foreign associates. I’m especially proud that among them is our executive vice president and provost, Greg Fenves. They are:

  • Thomas Edgar, director of the Energy Institute at UT Austin and the George T. and Gladys H. Abell Chair in Engineering, who is recognized for contributions to mathematical modeling, optimization and automatic control of chemical and microelectronics processes, and for professional leadership.
  • Greg Fenves, executive vice president and provost of UT Austin, who is recognized for contributions to computational modeling, creation of open-source software for earthquake engineering analysis, and for academic leadership. Prior to becoming provost, Fenves served as the eighth dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering.
  • Yale Patt, the Ernest Cockrell Jr. Centennial Chair in Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who was elected for contributions to high-performance microprocessor architecture.
  • Bob Schutz, the Joe J. King Chair of Engineering in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, who was elected for his contribution to the use of satellite laser ranging and GPS tracking to study Earth system dynamics.

Provost Fenves and Professors Edgar, Patt, and Schutz make us all proud.

Hook ’em!

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Times Higher Education: UT Austin No. 28 in world

I’m proud to report that once again the London-based publication Times Higher Education has ranked The University of Texas at Austin among the best universities in the world. This year, UT came in at No. 28. This is the fourth consecutive year we have ranked in the top 29. Among public universities in the United States, UT Austin ranked sixth on the list. The full list of universities can be found here.

Times Higher Education examines 13 factors in five separate areas to determine excellence — teaching, research, influence of research, innovation, and international outlook. UT Austin’s highest marks were in its influence of research, as measured by the number of times faculty members’ studies are cited by peers; overall research, which includes funding, number of articles published and quality; and teaching, which is based largely on the university’s reputation among scholars.

All Texans can take great pride in the fact that UT Austin keeps company with the world’s very best universities.


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State of the University strong thanks to focus on mission


Yesterday afternoon, I had the privilege of delivering my ninth and final State of the University Address to the University of Texas community. In the address, I said:

Thirty-seven years ago I fell in love with UT. A lot went into that, but nothing more than our people. Our amazing students. Our unbelievably talented faculty. Our innovative and hard- working staff. Our astonishing alumni and friends. I know all too well what all of you have done for me! Thank you!

You may read the entire address here:

Or watch it here:

Also, you might be interested in this new infographic about the University’s accomplishments:


Thank you for all you have done to make the state of the University of Texas at Austin strong.

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TribFest brings policy leaders to UT Austin

Texas Tribune Festival

Texas Tribune Festival

Next weekend, Sept. 19-21, The Texas Tribune and The University of Texas at Austin will partner for the fourth time in presenting The Texas Tribune Festival — a gathering on the UT campus of some of the biggest names in politics and public policy to examine some of the most pressing issues affecting our state.

UT students, faculty, and staff can attend for a discounted rate of just $50, or volunteer for one shift and receive a complimentary Festival badge. Students (high school and college) also have access to several exclusive events in coordination with Pearson and UT’s Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. Full details are available online.

The list of confirmed participants at the festival includes: U.S. senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz; Gov. Rick Perry; state senators Wendy Davis, Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte; U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro; former U.S. senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and Bill Bradley; and Land Commissioner nominee George P. Bush.

Student program highlights include:

Friday, Sept. 19 – Kickoff pizza party for students at the Cactus Cafe with networking tips and advice on how to get the most out of the festival

Saturday, Sept. 20 – A private student lounge in the Student Activity Center will feature valuable networking opportunities and exclusive meet-and-greets with festival speakers and special guests — including state Sen. Wendy Davis, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, and Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht. Students can stop by throughout the day for snacks, drinks, and fun activities.

Sunday, Sept. 21 – Following the festival’s closing session, students can attend a live TribCast podcast recording in KUT’s Studio 1A featuring free lunch, appearances by festival speakers and a special performance by The Jason Roberts Band.

On Saturday morning, I will be participating in a panel with five other leaders to discuss college completion rates.

For more information, visit the #TTFstudents site at, or view the full program at

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Campaign for Texas a historic success

Commencement 2014 fireworks by Marsha

On October 17, 2008, I stood before a meeting of UT Austin’s Development Board and made an audacious proposal, a proposal to raise $3 billion through philanthropy in order to achieve the vision of excellence established by the Commission of 125. “That’s the cost of recruiting exceptional people and building excellence in our most strategic programs,” I said. “If we do this, we can become the great public research university of the 21st century.”

With that, we embarked on what we now believe is the largest fundraising campaign of any institution in the history of Texas.

It is thrilling to announce that we have successfully completed this transformative project. The campaign included gifts made during a two-year “silent” period that began in 2006, and in the eight subsequent years, we raised more than $3.1 billion. In the past year alone, we raised more than $856 million, setting a record for Texas higher education.

It often is said, if you want to know what a person believes in, look at his or her checkbook. You believed in UT. And you voted with your checkbook to pursue a vision of true excellence, a vision of UT Austin as America’s best.

My heart is filled with thanks for every member of the Longhorn family — individuals, foundations, associations, and corporations — who helped us. Especially, I thank three devoted alumni — Kenny Jastrow, who chaired the campaign, and Charles Tate and Libba Massey, who served as its co-vice-chairs. These three and thousands of others made the campaign a success.

Already, giving during this campaign has changed the face of our campus, with our new Liberal Arts Building and its home for ROTC, Gates Computer Science Complex, Dell Computer Science Hall, Belo Center for New Media, and Rowling Hall for graduate business education, among others. And the campaign has changed what we call our constituent parts: “Dell” is how we refer to our new medical school, “Moody” to our College of Communication, and “Butler” to our School of Music. The campaign established 830 new student scholarship and support endowments.

Above all, I am excited to witness the University’s transformation in the years to come and to know that this transformation was the fruit of your hope and your trust.

Hook ’em Horns!
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Welcome to the Forty Acres

This is the first week of the fall semester of 2014, and our campus is buzzing with activity. It’s especially exciting to feel the energy of new students as they begin this life-changing experience. Tuesday night, we gathered on the Main Mall to celebrate this new chapter with a freshman convocation we call Gone to Texas. Music, spirit groups, and a strong lineup of speakers primed our freshmen for their college careers. And, to the students’ great approval, this happened…

On Wednesday night, new students met in the stadium for the Texas Kickoff Rally, where they met Coach Charlie Strong and formed the Longhorn silhouette on the field for the Class of 2018 photo.


To all of you who have been away, welcome back. Let’s make it a year to remember!

Hook ’em Horns!

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