Carnegie Foundation recognizes UT Austin for community engagement

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized UT Austin with its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. I’m proud of our Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and Vice President Greg Vincent for attaining this designation.

UT Austin is among 83 institutions receiving this relatively new classification for the first time, and among those, we are one of just six universities designated by Carnegie as having very high research activity.

At UT, we live out our mission of service in many ways. A few examples include:

Currently 366 institutions of higher education hold the Carnegie classification out of more than 3,000 institutions nationwide. Twelve universities in Texas hold the designation, including five in the UT System.

What starts here changes the world.

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Another milestone passed for the Dell Medical School


Kevin Bozic and Amy Young


This week marks another important milestone for UT Austin’s Dell Medical School — the appointment of its first department chairs. Dean Clay Johnston has recruited two nationally renowned innovators. Dr. Kevin Bozic will chair the Surgery Department, and Dr. Amy Young will chair the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department.

Kevin Bozic, a national leader in health care redesign, is a professor and vice chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UC-San Francisco. He also is a visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School. He is a graduate of the UCSF School of Medicine and the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has conducted extensive research focusing on issues such as health care technology, cost-effectiveness analysis, shared decision making and value-based payment and delivery models.

Amy Young is currently a professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans. Previously, she had a long tenure at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where she served as program director of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Program and later director of Medical Education. She also served as service chief for Obstetrics and Gynecology Harris County Hospital District-Baylor before being promoted to director of operations, HCSD-Baylor. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi Medical School in Jackson and holds chemistry and biology degrees from Vanderbilt University. She is the immediate past president of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Dean Johnston next will appoint chairs to lead the departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, followed by Psychiatry, Neurology, and Population Health, as well as the director of the Livestrong Cancer Institutes.

These are exciting times for UT Austin and for health in Central Texas.

What starts here changes the world.

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LIVESTRONG Foundation puts UT Austin over the $3 billion goal line

Livestrong Press Conference 2014_3770

From left: Dean Clay Johnston of the Dell Medical School, LIVESTRONG CEO Doug Ulman, President Bill Powers, Sen. Kirk Watson, and LIVESTRONG Chairman Jeff Garvey

Today, I’m thrilled to announce two historic milestones in the life of The University of Texas at Austin. The LIVESTRONG Foundation has pledged $50 million to create the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes at UT Austin’s Dell Medical School. With this gift, LIVESTRONG has taken UT Austin’s total giving during the Campaign for Texas over our goal of $3 billion with just over one week left in our eight-year campaign.

The LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes will bring to the Dell Medical School the cause of patient-centered care that has been at the heart of the foundation’s work since its beginning 17 years ago. I am so thankful to LIVESTRONG and excited about the groundwork this lays within the Dell Medical School. Revolutionary advances will flow from this partnership. Lives will be saved, and lives will be made far better because of the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s generosity and strategic vision.

As for the Campaign for Texas, I will have much more to say about it when the final numbers are tallied. However, we can now reveal that more than 139,000 alumni and some 120,000 additional friends made gifts during the campaign. More than 12,000 other donors, including foundations, associations, and corporations, have given as well during the course of this, the largest capital campaign in the history of Texas higher education.

You did it. I thank you. Longhorns around the world thank you. And most importantly, future generations of Longhorns will thank you in the decades to come. If you haven’t given yet, you have through August 31 to be a part of this historic campaign.

What starts here changes the world.

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New medical school just adds to UT Austin’s long history in health care

I’d like to share with you my op-ed published Wednesday in the Houston Chronicle:

“The new Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin has moved ahead with great speed over the past two years. Because of the headlines this has generated, Texans now are beginning to associate UT Austin with health care. In reality, however, the university has been deeply involved in this field for a long time. Our professional colleges and schools have long trained students and done research in medical and related fields like nursing since 1960, social work since 1950, and pharmacy since 1927.”

To read the op-ed, please visit:

I’m proud of the work UT has done over many decades in the area of health and medicine, and I’m excited for the new era that our Dell Medical School will bring.

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May Updates from the Forty Acres



As we reach the end of the 2013-14 school year, I’d like to share some good news. This weekend UT celebrates its 131st spring commencement. More than 8,686 Longhorn students are about to become graduates of The University of Texas at Austin. Of those, 5,832 will be getting their bachelor’s degrees, 1,900 their master’s degrees, and 954 their doctoral degrees. Among those graduating with bachelor’s degrees, our three most popular majors this year, in order, are psychology, economics, and finance. I’m proud of all of our new UT graduates, and I welcome their families and friends to our campus on this joyful weekend.

This spring, we have lit the Tower orange for a number of scholarly achievements. Four of our engineering faculty members were inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, the most of any university: Thomas Edgar, Yale Patt, Bob Schutz, and our provost, Greg Fenves. We also honored mathematics professor Luis Caffarelli, winner of the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research, and chemistry and chemical engineering professor Grant Willson, who won the Japan Prize for his development of a process now used to manufacture nearly all microprocessors and memory chips. And, as I mentioned last month, we broke ground on three buildings for our new Dell Medical School.

The Campaign for Texas continues to break records for philanthropy as we rapidly approach our August 31 deadline to bring the eight-year, $3 billion effort to a successful close. As of today, we have raised $2,855,986,626. That leaves $144,013,374 left to raise in 110 days. That is a lot, but I know that if we pull together, we can make history. Join us!

Finally, I’d like to recognize some of this year’s athletics successes. For the 2013-14 athletics season, six Longhorn teams captured Big 12 Conference championships: Volleyball, Men’s Swimming and Diving, Women’s Swimming and Diving, Women’s Indoor Track and Field, Men’s Tennis and Men’s Golf. I also want to congratulate Kevin Durant, who last Tuesday became the first Texas Ex in history to be named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. In winning his fourth scoring title in five years, he joins only Michael Jordan, George Gervin, and Wilt Chamberlain. Hook ’em!

Kevin’s hard-won achievements are emblematic of what Longhorns do every day across society. From teaching to nursing, accounting to the arts, engineering to journalism, and in so much else, what starts here changes the world.

Here’s to another great school year.

Bill's Signature

UT launches construction of Dell Medical School

Dell Medical School groundbreaking 2014

With Bill Powers from left are Sen. Kirk Watson, Jesus Garza of Seton Healthcare Family; Brenda Coleman-Beattie of Central Health, and Dean Clay Johnston

Yesterday, campus and community leaders gathered at the corner of 15th and Red River Streets to celebrate the next phase in the creation of UT Austin’s Dell Medical School, starting construction on three buildings that will form the heart of the school: an academic building, a research building, a medical office building. These will be joined by a teaching hospital to be built by Seton Healthcare Family in the fall.

Leaders who spoke at the event included Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin, who has been instrumental in moving the school forward; Brenda Coleman-Beattie, chair of Central Health, the health care district for Travis County; Jesus Garza, the CEO of the Seton Healthcare Family; and Clay Johnston, the founding dean of the Dell Medical School.

It was an exciting day made even better by the presence of high school students and undergraduates studying premed subjects, medical residents, local doctors, and representatives from throughout the community.

Dell Medical School groundbreaking 20142002

Community members write their hopes for the Dell Medical School on signing boards at the groundbreaking

In the coming months, we’ll see these buildings begin to take shape. It will be a thrilling reminder of what is now on the horizon for UT Austin. Before we know it, we’ll be cutting a ribbon.

What starts here changes the world.
Bill's Signature