Man Eaters

Last week The University of Texas System Board of Regents named James Milliken as the sole finalist for the role of UT System chancellor. Milliken is the former chancellor of the City University of New York. In a statement Milliken said he would “welcome the opportunity to play a lead role in advancing this system of outstanding universities in the 21st Century.” According to the Texas Tribune, “Larry Faulkner, who has led the system on an interim basis since the former chancellor, Admiral Bill McRaven, stepped down in May, is expected to keep his position until Milliken's appointment is finalized and he can begin the job.” Additional coverage of the announcement can be found in the Austin Business JournalHouston ChronicleInside Higher EdThe Eagle and the Daily Texan, among other publications.
 
Texas will get its first new dental school in nearly half a century when the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine opens in El Paso in 2021. The school, which is part of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, still needs approval from the Higher Education Coordinating Board as well as accreditation from national organizations. El Paso has been identified as an underserved area, in part because the nearest dental school is 550 miles away and dental school graduates tend to establish practices near their alma mater, according to a feasibility study published by Texas Tech this month.
 
Chancellor Sharp recently highlighted Texas A&M’s Data Visualization Lab, which creates opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students in computer animation, game design and visual arts. According to Sharp, “Our students regularly take jobs at studios like Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney and Industrial Light and Magic … This summer more than two dozen Aggies appeared in the credits of The Incredibles 2.” Watch a video of the “Viz Lab” to learn more.
 
Sam Houston State University is still pushing for a college of medicine despite criticism from some members of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Board members said the school's offering “falls short,” is premised on a “fallacy,” and has a business model that is “neither unique nor innovative,” according to media accounts of the last board meeting. This criticism comes as the Board has expressed concern about the state building too many medical schools.
 
Following the recent announcement that the Army would be setting up its new Futures Command in Austin, the UT Board of Regents announced that the System would offer space for the Army at its new downtown headquarters.
 
Ethics Unwrapped, a video-based behavioral ethics curriculum created at The University of Texas at Austin and adopted by educational institutions around the world, effectively increases student understanding of ethics and human behavior, according to a study published today in the Journal of Business Law and Ethics Pedagogy. The study was based on a two-year survey of approximately 8,600 UT undergraduates.”
 
A Texas A&M graduate made national news for her surprising graduation pictures. She commemorated earning her degree in wildlife ecology by posing with a 1,000 pound 14-foot alligator named “Big Tex” for her graduation pictures. Check out the photos and video in USA Today. “People think they are man eaters when they can be trained and do have different personalities,” graduate Makenzie Noland said.

Latest Updates

  • “So far Texas has been incomparable.”

    “So far Texas has been incomparable.” That was how newly minted UT System Chancellor James Milliken reflected on his first two weeks on the job when he spoke recently at the Texas Tribune Festival. In discussing what he plans to bring to the role, he said: “The foundation of my philosophy about public higher education is that talent is equally distributed across every demographic—whether it’s wealth, race, ethnicity, nationality, or zip code.” A recap of the festival, which also featured conversations about higher ed policy by Texas lawmakers, can be viewed here.

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  • The Longest Lecture

    The fall semester started with the surprise departure of a chancellor at one university system and the arrival of a new chancellor at another. Robert Duncan, the Texas Tech System chancellor, stepped down on August 13th, but rumors about the “why” of his departure continue. Meanwhile, the UT System officially welcomed James Milliken as its new chancellor. “You can't do anything important in public higher education without a partnership, a close partnership, with the leadership of state government, and frankly a partnership with the philanthropic community," said Milliken. "It is one of the essential roles of the job,” he said. “I've been successful at that in other places; I certainly hope that I'm successful at it in Texas.”

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