As 2012 draws to a close, I want to thank all the members of the UT family for your support during another challenging year. Kim and I appreciate the countless kind words and gestures from the Longhorn community.
There are many exceptional accomplishments for which we should all take great pride. In partnership with the citizens of Travis County, Seton Healthcare Family, Central Health, and other important allies, we have embarked on creating a medical school for UT Austin. Our Longhorn athletes performed magnificently at the London Olympic Games. Thanks to our amazing faculty, we entered the world’s Top 25 universities according to a leading observer of higher education.
Senior William Berdanier was recently awarded the Marshall Scholarship to study mathematics and theoretical physics at Cambridge University. And just earlier this week the Longhorn volleyball team won the national championship. We’ve moved into the state-of-the-art Belo Center for New Media, and in the coming months, we’ll cut ribbons on the Liberal Arts Building and the Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall.
The national conversation on the future of public higher education will continue, but I want you to know that UT will be at the forefront. We have aggressively committed energy and resources to improving classroom learning and four-year graduation rates. In a few days, I will receive the report of the UT Committee on Business Productivity, a group of 13 business leaders who have made an extensive review of our operations, systems, and processes in the interest of making UT the most efficient university in the nation. Within the year, I’ll have the honor of serving as chair of the Association of American Universities, the prestigious alliance of 61 of the finest research universities in North America.
Starting next month, I’ll be working with the Texas Legislature to help shape public policy and support of higher education in our state. I will keep you posted on our priorities and issues that affect our campus. In all of this work, UT depends on your support. With your help, I’m confident that the coming year will hold even greater success for your university.
I’d like to share this article listing some of the biggest UT stories of 2012. Finally, Kim and I want to wish you and your family a safe and joyful holiday season.