Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022
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Jay Hartzell celebrates improvements, innovations in State of the University Address

President+Jay+Hartzell+delivers+the+State+of+the+University+Address+on+Sept.+19%2C+2023.
Kevin Kim
President Jay Hartzell delivers the State of the University Address on Sept. 19, 2023.

UT welcomes growth in response to today’s changing environment by attracting students and faculty with great talent, University President Jay Hartzell said in his annual State of the University Address on Tuesday. 

Cowboy boots littered the rows of the packed Mulva Auditorium in the Engineering Education and Research building, which was filled with students, faculty and alumni. Hartzel listed this year’s statistics, innovations, projects and goals. 

“I think we have a chance to be the next chapter,” Hartzell said. “What is it we can do as a campus community, as a university, in conjunction with Austin and Texas, our alumni, supporters, people in this room and beyond to really make this a place of genius?”


Hartzell said the University aims to attract these talented students and staff with a shared mission of changing the world. Within that goal, Hartzell said the University excels.

The University received a record number of applications this year — 66,000. Four-year graduation rates reached an all-time high of 72.4%. Staff applications increased by 30% in the last two years.

Persephonie Cole, web content specialist for Cockrell School of Engineering, said she started working at the University three months ago.

“I’m really passionate about education,” Cole said. “It’s nice to feel supported in that and seen and recognized for all of the work that happens behind the scenes to make the student experiences like the great one that is at UT.”

Additionally, Hartzell said the University excels in the science fields, expanding the Dell Medical School with 450 new doctors since its founding in 2016.

“Within the last year, they did the seventh ever partial heart transplant on an 11-month-old boy,” Hartzell said. “We’re only the fourth institution in the world to pull that off.”

Although the University’s world-class facilities, such as a top 10 computer science program and the Cockrell School of Engineering, set it apart from other institutions, Hartzell said there is still work to be done.

“Students’ success is not just necessarily about graduation rates,” Hartzell said. “One of the big challenges has been, ‘How do we make this University remain affordable?’” 

Tackling affordable student housing remains one of the University’s biggest goals, Hartzell said. Students who live closer to campus are happier, more engaged and perform better but many cannot afford it, he said.

“The only reason that I’m staying in the dorms is because of my scholarships, but if it were up to me, I’d probably get an apartment,” business sophomore Leslie Rico said. “The thing that has been discouraging me from that has been the prices.”

Following the recent purchase of Dobie Twenty21, the University plans to continue adding more housing, Hartzell said. This summer, they acquired a new graduate housing complex that will add 1,200 new beds for graduate students. 

“We have a chance now, staring at the future, to be bold, to be brash, to take a little risk,” Hartzell said. “We have a chance to propel this University, our students, alum and research in a way that’s not been done before. So I want to thank you for all you do as part of that, and (for) those who get to be part of the journey, I want to encourage us all to get there together.”

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