UTA Magazine
Investiture Excerpts: Clifton R. Wharton Jr., Keynote Speaker
From his speech, Reflections on Presidential Leadership

Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.“What fascinated me most in reading about your institution is the phenomenal drive that energized its steady pursuit of the goal of becoming a first-class university. … Please notice I said ‘first-class’ university, not ‘top-tier.’ While I welcome competition for academic excellence, I am discomfited when comparisons are made solely on the basis of being considered a ‘flagship’ campus or a member of the Association of American Universities. Too often universities aspire to achieve greater excellence by blind emulation. They aim for what they believe are the criteria by which the top-tier universities are measured. … While these measures are important, it is as though prestige and success can only be recognized in these limited ways. For me, prestige and excellence come in far more subtle hues and mixes. I believe that a more valid standard of excellence is measuring achievement against the distinctive unique mission of the institution.”

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