Get to Know Derek Horton

Each month, Get to Know… will feature two members of UT System Administration’s talented and diverse staff as they offer insights into their lives in and out of the office. Each new edition will be published here. This week,

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Derek Horton, UT System's assistant vice chancellor, Office of Budget and Planning, sitting on his Harley Davidson motorcycle with his son sitting on a play motorcycle next to him in their garage

Derek Horton

Assistant Vice Chancellor
Office of Budget and Planning

What are your primary job responsibilities?

I'm responsible for engaging stakeholders across the UT ecosystem to facilitate short- and long-range financial planning efforts while also managing the system-wide operating budget. These activities involve working collaboratively with institutional and system leadership to develop sustainable planning models that reflect institution-specific and system-wide strategic priorities. Our office also oversees system grant administration, monthly financial reporting and assessment of institutional performance against key performance indicators.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

I enjoy the diversity of my job. Each day presents a new challenge and opportunity. More importantly, I enjoy the people.

What is your proudest work moment?

Reviewing, consolidating and summarizing months and months of effort by hundreds of stakeholders from across the entire system into a 10- to 15-minute budget presentation is no small feat, but obtaining that board approval each August is certainly the highlight of the year.

What advice would you give to someone who is new to the UT System?

We have been afforded the opportunity to continue remote work, which is a wonderful benefit; however, starting a new job in a remote work environment can have its challenges. For me, I learned to commit time on a regular basis to engage with people by going to lunch. Plus, I'm a bit of a foodie and enjoy trying new restaurants in the area.

What is a fact about you that may surprise your colleagues?

Most people don't know, and would likely be surprised to learn, that I'm a biker, and I'm not referring to a bike with pedals. My uncles are all bikers, so I’ve had a love for them since I was a kid. I currently have a 2022 Harley Davidson Road Glide that I often take on trips throughout the state. I enjoy riding to the College Station area because most of my family lives there and, of course, riding through Bastrop is pretty scenic.

What do you do to disconnect or de-stress?

I guess the nice thing to say would be traveling with the family, but those of us with kids know that isn't the case. I disconnect and de-stress by riding my bike through the Hill Country area.

Who is currently playing on your Spotify playlist?

Likely Earth, Wind and Fire or Chris Stapleton.