Quantum Leaps

A note for readers The “Quantum Leaps” as documented on this website reflect the vision of Admiral William H. McRaven, who served as Chancellor of The University of Texas System from January 5, 2015 - May 31, 2018. Many of the foundational and collaborative efforts related to Chancellor McRaven’s enduring vision continue beyond his tenure.

The UT System will use its size, talent and diversity to collaborate in ways never done before. It will scale its strengths to make nine “Quantum Leaps” ranging from building the nation’s next generation of leaders, to leading the brain health revolution, to aggressively recruiting the world’s greatest scholars and researchers.

These bold initiatives will catapult the UT System into the forefront of higher education, research and health care, benefitting the citizens of Texas, the nation and the world.

“We are launching a completion agenda with a difference, grounded in commitments to students around finances, belonging,  and advising.”

Student Success

Too few young people are going to college, and of those who do, too few graduate. This has dramatic social and economic consequences for the state of Texas — and the nation. The UT System is collaborating across our institutions at unprecedented levels, doubling down on efforts to fulfill our responsibility to help each of our students be prepared and positioned to succeed in college.

The UT System is launching a completion agenda with a difference, grounded in commitments to students around finances, belonging, and advising. Aligned with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s 60X30TX Plan, we are working with our institutions to ensure students receive the support, tools, and quality academics they need to persist and earn their degrees on time. UT System institutions not only will increase graduation rates while keeping education debt in check, but they also will produce more career-ready graduates who immediately contribute to the economy and their communities.

“The state we call home is going to rise or fall based on our ability to work together in true collaboration to ensure that every Texas child has a fighting chance for a good education and all the opportunities that flow from it.”

The Texas Prospect Initiative

Through unprecedented collaboration and new partnerships, the System will work aggressively to increase the number of students entering the college pipeline who are prepared for success in college and beyond.

Working with UT institutional leaders, civic and non-profit leaders, the legislature, state agencies, community colleges, school districts, and other primary and secondary constituents, the System will use its size and its regional access to actively engage with leaders across the education spectrum, from pre-kindergarten through college, to strengthen student achievement and improve college readiness in a way never before envisioned in higher education. The System will address the under-preparation of students, raise expectations, and strengthen the culture of education in Texas through a multi-pronged approach that includes: positioning more—and more diverse—students for success though high-quality dual credit programs; improving academic preparation through regional and local alignment of middle, high-school, college and university curricula; rethinking teacher education so that today’s teachers are successful in educating students for tomorrow’s challenges; and mobilizing advanced computer analytics and big data to impact student learning and outcomes.

“We must build men and women of character and uncomprimising integrity, because they are going to lead the schools, towns, cities, businesses, churches, civic groups and for that matter, families of this great state.”

The American Leadership Program

Because the System is preparing the future leaders of Texas, it will create The American Leadership Program. It is the intent of the American Leadership program to develop and inspire selfless servant leadership qualities among our students, staff, faculty and administration so they may have a positive impact on our society.

The American Leadership Program will aim to implement leadership curriculum and programs across the System for students, staff, faculty and administration. The System will leverage our outstanding faculty, large veteran population, business and civic leaders, and a host of others to teach the men and women of our state. Because senior administrators across the system and across the state and the nation need leadership education as well, the System will look to build a brick and mortar leadership institute that can provide executive level leadership training to all those who desire to improve the skills necessary to run today’s complex organizations. The System will be known nationwide for developing great leaders.

“We are going to make an unparalleled investment in pursuit of the next generation of outstanding faculty. There is a war for talent, and we intend to win it.”

Winning the Talent War

The UT System Board of Regents has shown a willingness to invest in bringing world-class scholars, teachers, and researchers to the UT System.

The wisdom of investing in world-class talent is more than apparent. The $100 million investment in the Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) program has yielded a phenomenal return – more than $650 million to date. The System is going to make an unparalleled investment in pursuit of the next generation of outstanding faculty. With the approval of the regents, it will increase the STARs investment and recommend a rising stars program that looks to hire clusters of great faculty — as well as an incentive program to retain our best post-doctoral candidates.

“This is an opportunity to not only do the right thing, but to show the world that Texas is prepared to lead on every issue that matters.”

Enhancing Fairness and Opportunity

The UT System will aggressively ramp up efforts in driving equal opportunity and fairness in hiring and promotion processes. 

Education is — and should be — all about opportunity and that includes opportunity for our faculty and staff. The System will implement a “Rooney Rule” — similar to what exists in the NFL for hiring head coaches – for higher education and health care. This will ensure that qualified women and minorities have an opportunity to be considered for every senior level position from dean and above. Additionally, to ensure fairness in faculty compensation, each campus will submit a plan to the Chancellor to close the gender gap within five years.

“We are going to develop a collaborative Health Care Enterprise that will leverage our size and expertise, and connect our regional capabilities to ensure we provide Texas, the nation and the world with the finest health care possible.”

The UT Health Care Enterprise

The UT System will improve the health of Texas by putting the collective power of its institutions to work.

It will develop a collaborative Health Care Enterprise that will leverage its size and expertise and connects its regional capabilities to ensure it provides Texas, the nation and the world with the finest health care possible. This will entail collaboration among UT health institutions along all lines of major health care functions — such as shared clinical information, shared service lines, clinical trials and telehealth. The System will incentivize and, where necessary, drive partnering so that it takes full advantage of the phenomenal talent and expertise that exists around the enterprise. 

“We will launch an effort akin to the Manhattan Project to understand, prevent, treat and cure the diseases of the brain.”

Leading the Brain Health Revolution

The UT System will launch an effort akin to the Manhattan Project to understand, prevent, treat and cure the diseases of the brain. 

It will tackle the issue in two ways. First, it will make an unprecedented investment in leveraging and connecting all the cutting edge science ongoing at UT institutions. It will drive collaboration, incentivize partnerships and demand scientific and clinical cooperation. Then, the System will add another critical node to the constellation of the UT brain health enterprise at its flagship academic institution in Austin.

“The national security threats confronting us today are so varied, so complex, and so serious, they are screaming for the brightest available minds to convene and collaborate in search of solutions.”

The UT Network for National Security

The UT System is uniquely positioned to establish itself as a leader in national security, because scattered among its institutions are great minds thinking and working on our national security problems. 

The UT System has dozens of centers, institutes, and programs that contribute to the study of national security issues. The Texas National Security Network integrates these efforts into a statewide alliance, enhancing their educational and research impact.

Update: Chancellor McRaven announced in March 2017 that UT System will not pursue the UT project in Houston.

UT System Expansion in Houston

To broaden access to more of Texas’ brightest students while taking advantage of the talent and expertise of the state’s most populous and international city, the System will expand its footprint in Houston.

This effort will be decades in the making, but will provide a venue for UT institutions across the state to have a presence in Houston, which is the brain hub of so many critical industries, such as energy, finance and health care. The System is completing the acquisition of over 300 acres of real estate off Buffalo Point just 3.5 miles from the Texas Medical Center. This will be a game changer, in a very positive way, for Houston, for the UT System, and for the state of Texas. 

This expansion of the UT System into the state’s most international city – where sectors such as energy, technology, health care, arts and culture fuel the economy – will provide extraordinary opportunities for research and partnerships. It will also address the need to make a UT education possible for a growing and changing population. At the beginning of 2016, Chancellor McRaven will convene a task force of civic leaders, legislators, academic and health presidents, faculty, students, regents and other constituents to begin planning for the development of the Houston property.