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Office of the President, UTA

 

 

 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

 

Dear Colleagues:

Commencement

Commencement ceremonies are always one of my favorite events of the year. It is always inspiring to watch students cross the stage showing a range of emotions representing the years of hard work and dedication and seeing in them the determination to make a difference with the degree they have just been awarded. Spring graduation set a new record for UTA and perhaps one across North Texas as over 5,600 degrees were conferred over three days. This represents an 8% increase over conferrals last spring and we estimate that over 12,500 degrees will have been awarded by the end of this academic year.

The number of degrees is significant because it represents the increasing contribution being made by our institution to meet the growing workforce and intellectual needs of the Metroplex and the State of Texas. Both our state and nation face a critical shortage of highly skilled nurses, and I’m proud that our College of Nursing and Health Innovation now graduates almost one in two nurses with Bachelor’s degrees and one in four with Master’s degrees in the state. Our College of Engineering, for the first time in its history, is now ranked in the top 75 in the nation at the graduate level and continues to attract and graduate the best and the brightest.

Rankings

Your efforts as part of the Maverick Family are not just resulting in higher graduation rates. More importantly, you are continuously improving the excellence across all our colleges. This is evidenced by increases in rankings of many of our programs including our elementary education degree ranked as 5th in the nation, and our Masters in Social Work being ranked 29th in the nation by CollegeChoice.com. This was on the heels of U.S. News & World Report ranking over 20 of our graduate programs as being among the best in the nation and CEO Magazine listing two MBA programs in its exclusive 2017 Tier-1 list.

Student Enrollment

The high quality of teaching and mentorship being offered by our faculty, the dedicated support provided by our staff, and our rankings and increasing number of highly sought out graduates, resulted in a spring enrollment of 41,932 being reported to the THECB with the overall level of enrollment (including both face-to-face and digital modalities) exceeding 57,000 in this academic year. Your efforts are ensuring that UTA stands out as an institution of higher education bridging access and excellence at affordable cost (as illustrated by our ranking by U.S. News & World Report as having the lowest debt of any public institution in the national university group).

Collaboration/Partnership

As we enhance excellence at UTA we have also been focused on increasing efforts to collaborate with the community. Earlier this year we signed a landmark agreement with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) establishing a distinctive partnership with an eye on future job creation and greater sustainability through discoveries in plant and environmental sciences and ensuring greater research opportunities for our faculty and students in the College of Science. We continue to strengthen pathways for success with our partner high schools and community colleges including the establishment of Teacher Academies in conjunction with Grand Prairie ISD and Arlington ISD, which will not only enhance student success in the College of Education but also address a critical workforce need. UTA was named earlier this year as one of only 63 institutions on Phi Theta Kappa’s 2017 Transfer Honor Roll recognizing excellence and success in the development of community college pathways.

SEIR Building

Campus Construction

As you drive through campus you can see so much happening with our expansion of facilities. The SEIR building on the south side will open in Fall 2018 as will the Residence Hall and Dining/Student Activities Complex on West Campus, while the 1500 slot parking garage will open this fall. Our facilities staff are also working diligently to maintain, renovate, and modernize our existing buildings to ensure the best possible environment for working and learning.

Student Success & Competition

Our student-athletes continue to excel in individual and team competitions. The Movin’ Mavs won their eighth Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Championship, our cheerleading squad won the National Championship for the 4th year in a row and our ESports team won the Heroes of the Dorm National Championship. In the class or on the fields of competition our students are setting new records and surpassing others.

Even as the nation debates the future of higher education and its value, your efforts are propelling UTA steadily forward as an institution of IDEAS – innovative, diverse, focused on bridging excellence and access at affordable cost, and ensuring student success. Your efforts continue to accelerate our progress towards being the model 21st Century Urban Research University, setting standards for others to follow.

I am deeply grateful to each of you for the extraordinary efforts you make on behalf of our students and the institution. I am honored to be a part of such a talented and dedicated community and want to thank each of you for the hard work, commitment, and dedication that has not only resulted in such a successful semester and academic year, but that continues to propel UTA into ever higher levels of excellence.

Thank you for all you do. I hope all of you will join me on May 30th for our Faculty and Staff Appreciation Celebration to mark the successes of the 2016-2017 year.

With warm wishes and Maverick Pride!

Sincerely,

Vistasp M. Karbhari
President

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Office of the President300 Davis Hall • Box 19125 • Arlington, Texas 76019-0125

vkarbhari@uta.edu • 817-272-2101 (voice) • 817-272-5656 (fax)