8 months ago

Advancing the Strategic Plan 2020 - Spring 2018


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Although public research universities were largely established around the ideals of the original land grant universities—assurance of a higher education to all, sharing of knowledge to the widest level, and teaching of both the liberal arts and the practical sciences—today’s leading universities need to do much more. They must also be engines of opportunity, enabling social mobility and economic advancement, serving not only as the intellectual hub for the region in which they are situated, but being the catalyst for the socioeconomic development of the communities they serve through the provision of a transformative education and the establishment of an entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. The development and dissemination of new knowledge, the creation and VISTASP M. KARBHARI transformation of intellectual property into tangible aspects of economic vitality, the PRESIDENT presentation and exhibition of new creative activity—these and more continue to distinguish The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the influence is felt not just in Arlington, but in communities within the metroplex and across the globe. The opportunity of a transformational experience, the ability to develop talent, and the determination to leave footprints on the sands of time—these are ever-present at this University of excellence as our faculty, staff, and students continue to reach new heights of excellence and positive impact. We continue to make tremendous progress along our focus of enabling a sustainable megacity, providing solutions that are being applied across the DFW metroplex in areas ranging from transit planning and the assessment of infrastructure reliability, to enabling healthy aging and the creation of “green” technologies, and harnessing the power of big data to enhance health care and develop an understanding of the transmission of diseases. From the fundamental understanding of neutrino particles, and the establishment of the relationship between hypoxia and cancer, to the improvement of lifeprediction of complex aerospace structures and the prediction of effects of natural disasters such as floods, our faculty and students are not just creating new knowledge but are ensuring that it is transformed into application, impacting the lives of millions of people, locally and across the globe. We continue to emphasize student success recognizing that our students come from diverse backgrounds and hence need a range of support mechanisms. Over the past five years we have seen a substantial increase in enrollment emphasizing the attractiveness of a UTA education. More importantly we’ve seen a dramatic rise in degree attainment—34.6 percent over the past five years with six-year graduation rates increasing by 9.5 percent since 2013, an enviable advancement by any measure. The evolution of University College into the new Division of Student Success headed by Associate Vice Provost Ashley Purgason is an important step in our effort to move the needle, not by inches, but by leaps and bounds. While the education of our students is a priority we are also dedicated to ensuring their wellness through provision of resources and support systems under the “Community that Cares” umbrella, integrating the efforts of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs in a holistic manner to enable each of our students to succeed. UTA is defined by its diversity and ability to innovate, excelling in all we put our minds to, and it is first-choice. This is who we are, and this is who we aspire to be—the best of the best—setting standards that others will follow. This is the university that is defining the future, shaping our metroplex as it develops into a megacity, and I hope that as you flip the pages you will see a university that leads with bold solutions and global impact, setting standards for others to follow.

A UTA IS ON A TREMENDOUS TRAJECTORY s a Carnegie R-1: Highest Research Activity institution, The University of Texas at Arlington strives to be at the forefront of research and technological breakthroughs. By bolstering our already-impressive faculty, establishing new centers of discovery on campus, forging partnerships with industry and academia, and ensuring a transformative education for students from around the world, we are moving ever closer toward our goal of being the model 21 st -century urban research university. This spring, UTA welcomed National Academy of Engineering member Robert Schafrik to the faculty. Dr. Schafrik is an internationally renowned expert in materials and manufacturing who will enhance UTA’s programs around manufacturing and aerospace engineering. Over the next five years, the University plans to add even more faculty focused on the four themes of our strategic plan, while emphasizing the importance of having a faculty that mirrors our student population—all while remaining on course, bridging access and excellence at an affordable cost. Among the new areas of excellence at UTA are the Conrad Greer Lab, which opened last fall, and the North Texas Genome Center (NTGC), which has just been established. The NTGC will be critical for research in drug development, disease prevention, cancer treatments, and fundamental aspects of genetics. In addition, the opening of the Science & Engineering Innovation & Research building in late summer 2018 will further catalyze UTA’s focus on the health sciences. UTA’s research and development efforts are also expected to boost the local economy through the development of intellectual property, company startups, and job creation. Partnerships with industry and academia are crucial to UTA’s mission to advance our strategic plan. In the past several months, the University has developed agreements with Illumina, Greenway Innovative Energy, Boehringer Ingelheim, and others, and has received a grant funded through the federal government’s Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium to develop the manufacturing process for the ReHeal glove, a bioengineered healing glove that delivers medicine to injured hands. As these and other examples of its excellence show, UTA is on a tremendous trajectory to becoming not just one of the best universities in Texas, but one of the best in the world. BOLD SOLUTIONS GLOBAL IMPACT 1