UTD engineering student

Texas Instruments Gift Creates Early Career Faculty Award

On the occasion of UT Dallas’ 50th anniversary, Texas Instruments made a $5 million gift to create an endowment that will support early career faculty members in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering within the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The gift, announced Oct. 29 at the University’s Founders Day celebration, is the largest single commitment to UT Dallas made by TI, the University’s longest supporter.

The Texas Instruments Early Career Award in Electrical and Computer Engineering is designed to help UT Dallas attract and retain promising scholars who have the potential to become leaders in new and emerging research fields.

Faculty members eligible for the award will be in the early stages of their academic careers and must demonstrate an ability to compete for extramural funding. Award recipients will receive $50,000 a year for up to six years to support their independent research activities.

“Texas Instruments and UT Dallas have a shared history through our founders, so it is fitting that we honor them and their vision for electrical engineering talent in North Texas with this gift from TI,” said Rich Templeton, chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments. “It’s our hope that the new endowment, as well as all we do to collaborate with UTD, reflects TI’s desire to see the University maintain engineering as central to its mission and to produce students who are equipped with both technical and entrepreneurial skills and to be a source of great local talent.”

UT Dallas has rapidly become one of the nation’s leading research institutions. In 2016 the University was recognized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as an R1 institution — a classification reserved for doctoral institutions with “very high research activity.” In 2018 UT Dallas qualified for funding from the National Research University Fund, an exclusive source of research support available to Texas’ emerging research universities upon the attainment of critical benchmark criteria.

As the University’s research profile grows, new resources are necessary to compete for top talent. By providing startup funding, the Texas Instruments Early Career Award will provide a competitive advantage for recruitment and will help make UT Dallas an attractive destination for sought-after faculty.

“In order to sustain UT Dallas’ incredible growth and success, it is critically important that we expand our faculty with the best available talent,” said Dr. Richard C. Benson, president of UT Dallas and the Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership. “I am grateful to Texas Instruments for helping us achieve this goal and look forward to the impact these new faculty members will make in their fields, for our students and for the economic well-being of our region.”

– Daniel Steele

Rich Templeton and Richard Benson
Rich Templeton (left), chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments, joins UT Dallas President Richard Benson in celebrating the partnership between the company and the University.