Skyrocketing Strategy

University’s strategic plan puts institution on trajectory for distinction

The University of Texas at Dallas has a story to tell. It’s a story still being written, sparked by the vision of its founders and continuing half a century later.
As the University approaches the 50th anniversary of its founding, a new strategic plan is adding to the story of this dynamic, young university by charting a path for the institution’s future. President Richard C. Benson recently released the plan, which specifies critical issues that must be addressed successfully during the next five years for UT Dallas to continue its trajectory to be one of the world’s great universities.

“This new strategic plan is not only a guide for our efforts moving forward, but it also reflects our distinctive style and values as an institution.”

–President Richard C. Benson

More than 50 faculty, staff and students collaborated to identify key actions and produce the final blueprint.
“When we began this process in 2017, I invited close scrutiny of the factors that will most affect our continued growth and progress,” Benson said. “UT Dallas has come far in a relatively short period of time, and if we want to continue that momentum and trajectory, we need to set ambitious yet realistic goals.”
The new plan incorporates nine strategic themes, including becoming an economic engine for the region, a goal that dates to the origins of UT Dallas as the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies.
“I think if our founders could come back, they would be thrilled — absolutely thrilled — at what has happened at UTD and what we have meant to the prosperity of this community,” said Benson, who holds the Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership, named for one of those founders.
“Our mission as a university includes graduating well-rounded citizens who are prepared for life and productive careers in an ever-changing world, as well as making the discoveries that will drive those very changes,” Benson said.

Aiming High

Although not every initiative can be measured directly, the following targets have been set to quantify the University’s aspirations and gauge their progress. By the 2022-23 academic year, we seek to:

  • Increase undergraduate enrollment to 23,000 and graduate student enrollment to 12,000.
  • Increase the annual number of doctoral graduates to 300.
  • Increase the number of first-time-in-college freshmen to 3,900.
  • Increase academic space to 2.3 million square feet.
  • Increase tenure-system faculty to 710.
  • Increase annual federal research expenditures to $60 million.
  • Increase the four-year graduation rate to 60 percent.
  • Increase the six-year graduation rate to 75 percent.
  • Increase the third quartile SAT score for incoming freshmen to 1440 and the first quartile SAT score to 1250.
  • Increase the third quartile ACT score for incoming freshmen to 33 and the first quartile ACT score to 27.
  • Increase the endowment to $750 million.

Read the new strategic plan

UT Dallas has capitalized on its origins and location, transforming into a large and selective public university. The future requires that the University continues to strive for excellence in all academic areas with a commitment to its guiding principles.

Strategic Themes

Attract talent, including the highest-quality students, faculty, staff and administrators.

Enrich the student experience by creating an environment in which all students can succeed.

Engage globally by integrating curriculum with the modern world and encouraging international partnerships and research networks.

Enrich the arts to foster an appreciation for human intellect and creativity.

Advance research that creates new knowledge to enhance the human experience.

Become an economic engine for the region by becoming a key partner with industry, government, cultural organizations and schools throughout North Texas.

Develop financial and administrative systems that sustain excellence by ensuring that business and organizational systems support and enhance the teaching and research missions.

Create a culture of philanthropy by expanding the number and size of gifts that support teaching and research.

Ensure a sustainable, rewarding campus environment by taking care of our people, our campus and our environment.