Leaders in national security, health care and education convene in Austin to discuss how the UT System can address global challenges

The Chancellor’s Council Annual Meeting & Symposium in Austin May 6 drew 1,000 passionate philanthropists to hear how The University of Texas System and its institutions are poised to tackle the most vexing problems of this generation.

The theme for this year’s event: "If there’s a global challenge, there’s a Texas solution."

UT leaders, alumni, faculty and partners – representing some of the greatest minds and innovators in the nation – delved into engaging discussions that homed in on three “Quantum Leaps” identified by Chancellor William McRaven as part of his vision for the UT System.

Attendees learned how the UT System is engaging in unprecedented collaborations and leveraging the collective brainpower and resources of its 14 institutions to:

  • Expand the education pipeline to bridge the economic divide
  • Elevate higher education’s role in responding to national security threats
  • Reimagine medical education and health care delivery

Bob Schieffer, a native Texan and legendary journalist who has interviewed every president since Richard Nixon, moderated the discussions.

Bridging the Economic Divide


  • Sara Martinez Tucker, UT System Regent and former Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
  • Woody Hunt, Executive Chairman of Hunt Companies, Inc. Board of Directors and former Chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Strategic Planning Committee
  • Allan Golston, President of the United States Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bob Schieffer interviewing Sara Martinez, Woody Hunt, and Allan Golston for the Bridging the Economic Divide segment

Three accomplished nonprofit and business leaders discussed how increasing the number of children who have access to a college degree is critical to the social and economic success of individuals, the state of Texas and the entire nation.

"Investing in a child's education is not charity,” Martinez Tucker said. “It is investing in the future of our country."

The Gates Foundation's Golston said the UT System is fostering unprecedented levels of engagement and collaboration between higher education and pre-K through 12.

"One of the reasons we love and invest in Texas is because there is a lot of innovation," Golston said.

Watch the full panel discussion.

National Security takes the Higher (Education) Road


  • Nick Rasmussen, Director, National Counterterrorism Center
  • William Inboden, Ph.D., Executive Director, Clements Center for National Security, UT Austin
  • William McRaven, Chancellor, UT System and retired Admiral, U.S. Navy

Bob Schieffer interviewing Nick Rasmusen, William Inboden, and Chancellor William McRaven for the National Security takes the Higher Education Road segment

Three experts in national security talked about why higher education – and specifically the UT System – can and should take a more prominent role in addressing the ever-changing and more complex threats to our nation’s safety.

Inboden, who previously served as Senior Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council at the White House, said he wants to ensure national security experts are taking full advantage of the rich resources universities have to offer.

"The policy world and the academic world speak different languages," Inboden said. "I want to help bridge that gap."

Watch the full panel discussion.

Health Care that Works


  • Clay Johnston, M.D., Ph.D., Dean, Dell Medical School, UT Austin
  • Alexander Vo, Ph.D., Vice President of Telemedicine and Health Services Technology, UT Medical Branch
  • Carmel Dyer, M.D., Executive Director, Consortium on Aging, UTHealth Houston

Bob Schieffer interviewing Clay Johnston, Alexander Vo, and Carmel Dyer for the Health Care the Works segment.

Visionary health care leaders at UT System institutions are working on promising solutions to revolutionize medical education and change the way health care is delivered in the 21st century.

Dyer provided fascinating insight into the world of geriatric medicine and her dream to develop a hospital specifically designed to treat an older patient population.

"Our physiology changes when we’re about 75 years of age," she said. "You wouldn't want your child or your grandchild treated by someone who wasn’t an expert in pediatrics."

Watch the full panel discussion.

Chancellor McRaven: We have to be nimble, agile, resilient and collaborative

Chancellor William McRaven highlighted the extraordinary contributions of UT institutions and provided a progress report on the UT System’s bold vision for improving lives in Texas and across the globe.

"There is no other institution with the talent, strength and reach of the UT System," McRaven told Chancellor's Council members. "In some ways, the future of Texas is in our hands."

Watch Chancellor McRaven’s entire address.

Discovery Sessions

Attendees of the Chancellor’s Council Annual Meeting & Symposium learned more about what makes the UT System tick via three concurrent Discovery Sessions:

  • This Land is Your Land, This Land is my Land provided an in-depth look at how more than 2.1 million acres of lands benefit both The University of Texas System and The Texas A&M University System and, by extension, all of Texas.
  • You Can Print That? called attention to the remarkable discoveries at UT El Paso’s W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation where 3D printing is having a tremendous impact on industries such as medical and aerospace.
  • A Smart Move for UT Basketball featured UT Austin men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart, who shared lessons learned from his first season with the Longhorns.