UTA hosted this year’s Downtown Arlington Management Corporation (DAMC) Annual meeting which was appropriately focused on “the phenomenal growth of UT Arlington, its efforts toward community engagement and urban planning, and how it is shaping its graduates to meet the workforce and the intellectual capital needs of a sustainable megacity of the future.” I had an opportunity to address a capacity crowd of city, county, and community leaders to tell them about the tremendous strides being made at UTA, our contributions to the city, county and Metroplex and to suggest the changes we need to assist us reach our potential.
Both Nanci Johnson-Plump, the DAMC Board Chair and Lauren Paris, CBRE Sr. Analyst, who spoke before me, praised our growth and trajectory and emphasized the need for the city to plan around UTA, to leverage our successes, and to ensure that the city proactively plans for aspects such as public transportation, housing and a vibrant city life. These aspects were further emphasized by the panel discussion that featured Mayor Jeff Williams, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, Michelle Kirby, Sr. Vice-President & Chief People Officer for Texas Health Resources, and myself.
There is no doubt that the city and its university are intrinsically tied together, geographically, historically and economically. While we have achieved a great deal together as America’s Dream City and its R-1 university, there is still more to do. The city and the UTA community have been tremendous partners to date and we are building our path to pre-eminence based on their support. We now need the city and community to join with us in providing the environment, public transportation, and services to make this city the envy of others across the nation. This is an exciting time and I hope that the city and community will join us on our journey, focusing development around the university, assisting us in growing an entrepreneurial ecosystem around UTA just as it exists in Austin, Orlando, San Diego and in Silicon Valley – merging and leveraging plans and investments, as we continue to bring the city and its research university closer together, aligned for a wonderful future, with dreams that will become reality.
Remarks from this event can be found HERE.