The University of Texas System has announced plans to build a new campus in Houston, the state's largest city.
University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven, at a Board of Regents meeting, said the UT System is completing the acquisition of more than 300 acres of land in an area called Buffalo Point.
"It seems obvious that the UT System must broaden its access to more of Texas’ brightest students and at the same time take advantage of the incredible talent and expertise that exists in the states most populous and most international city and the 4th largest city in the nation," McRaven said in prepared remarks.
The chancellor said he envisions the new campus not as the "University of Texas at Houston," but as an intellectual hub for the entire UT system--"an opportunity for all our campuses to take advantage of the Houston professionals in the fields of medicine, energy, engineering, business, aerospace, health care and the arts."
"This will be a game changer, in a very positive way, for Houston, for the UT System, and for the state of Texas," McRaven said. "We have an opportunity to create something new and exciting to help make Texas even more competitive on the world stage."
McRaven also announced a plan to have the UT System work more cooperatively with Texas school districts and community colleges to make sure more students are better prepared to enter higher education.
"We must remove the perception that exists in some corners of this state that those of us in public education are in different camps, that pre-K through 12, community college, and four-year college and university professionals are somehow separate," McRaven says.
To address the problem, the UT System will carry out the Texas Prospect Initiative. McRaven says it will have four elements:
- Aggressive steps to ensure that college preparatory programs—dual credits, early college high schools, math and science academies—meet the standards necessary to ensure that students are prepared to enter higher education.
- Creation of a UT Literacy Institute offered to the state's largest urban school districts that will focus on dramatically improving elementary-level literacy.
- Stepped-up efforts to ensure that high school counselors in Texas have the resources needed to provide advice and direction to each potential college student.
- A renewed focus on the schools of education in the UT System to ensure they are graduating creative, critical thinkers who are masters of content and have the skills relevant to the needs of today’s classrooms.
Watch a video of McRaven's speech: