UT President Jay Hartzell addresses community at the 2022 State of the University Address

Sasha Haynes, News Reporter

During his State of the University address on Tuesday, President Jay Hartzell updated community members on the University’s upcoming commitments, including improving housing conditions for students, furthering economic growth in Texas and advancing UT’s position as a top research public university. 

“An idea can change the world,” Hartzell said during the address. “(The) University of Texas began as an idea enshrined in the Texas Constitution … (from) that idea, our University has grown to more than 20 thousand faculty (and) staff members, 52 thousand students and 550 thousand living alumni.” 

Hartzell also said he wishes to improve the Dell Medical School by advancing their research resources and improving Austin’s healthcare system.

He said the administration is also working to create a position to improve human resources and the University’s staff hiring process. Hartzell also emphasized the importance of continuing to offer tenure to faculty.

“Public research institutions have not wavered in protecting tenure, because it provides time and freedom to cultivate world-changing ideas,” Hartzell said.

Hartzell said he is awaiting an announcement from the UT System Board of Regents regarding a restoration project for the UT Tower, which would be the first renovation to the building in 85 years. 

Hartzell also addressed the housing issues faced by undergraduate and graduate students living around campus. He said the recent purchase by UT of DobieTwenty21 will add hundreds more University beds for students in need of housing. UT also recently purchased the Boulevard apartments on the Brackenridge tract, which will help attract faculty, Hartzell said.

“’I’m pleased with our progress from the last year, but we’re far from done,” Hartzell said. “We will learn from these efforts as we work diligently to solve housing challenges for our people.”

Hartzell said he hopes UT can help Austin become the “next major hub” for healthcare, life sciences and technology. Hartzell said he hopes to improve healthcare for central Texas and the rest of the state through Dell Medical School’s training, tripling the number of accredited training programs and supporting the work of the Center for Computational Oncology on patient-specific predictive breast cancer care. 

At the closing of his speech, Hartzell said the What Starts Here fundraising campaign, an effort to further innovation and research on campus, has raised half of its six billion dollars fundraising goal. 

“Our ideas change the world,” Hartzell said.“Thank you, and as we like to say, hook ‘em.”