William H. McRaven, Chancellor


Dear ,

The reach of The University of Texas System is  massive, and one of the most exciting things about my new position is learning just how many lives are touched and all the different ways UT ambassadors—students, faculty, staff members and alumni—are making an impact.

Whether we are focused on life-altering research or world-class teaching, it’s important to remember that whatever we undertake, we remain committed to our students and helping them fulfill their absolute highest potential.

Our commitment to student success is at the heart of all we do, going beyond academic advising and affordable tuition to, first and foremost, supporting the well-being of our students.

A true success story many people may not know about is the Center for Students in Recovery (CSR) at UT Austin, a program being replicated System-wide. The mission of the Center is to provide a supportive community where students in recovery and in hope of recovery can achieve academic success while enjoying a genuine college experience free from alcohol and other drugs. Hundreds of students look to CSR for support whether through a 12-step program, experiential groups, or the social, athletic and volunteer activities CSR offers. The Center’s professional staff provide students with opportunities to serve their community, develop a vibrant support system, build friendships and create memories. Tutors, advisors and mentors are also available to help students meet their academic goals.

As a chancellor and a parent, it is comforting and reassuring to know that there is great emphasis and expertise in the areas of prevention, education and recovery, especially in an environment of high stress and expectations. The American College Health Association has honored the CSR with the “Best Practices in College Health” for cutting-edge and exemplary health and wellness services, and UT Austin is an undisputed national leader in the collegiate recovery movement.

Today, the UT System Board of Regents is expanding the effort even further. At the February board meeting, Regents voted to continue funding programs like the CSR on every academic campus in the system, investing $2.4 million. We’re the only system of higher education to make this level of commitment and I couldn’t be more proud.

The funding not only supports ongoing work but will also pay for new approaches, like web-based alcohol education programs for all incoming UT students as well as prevention and early intervention screening programs.

We know this is a very real challenge on college campuses today and we are meeting it head on. As Regents' Vice Chairman Steve Hicks puts it: “This initiative is an investment in student success, student health and student safety. We want to prevent students from getting into trouble in the first place, but if they do get into trouble, we want to make sure they have a place to go that will provide the resources to get them back on track.”

As I continue to delve into the extraordinary work occurring at UT institutions, I’ll look forward to sharing my experiences with you. In the meantime, my first two months on the job have included considerable time spent on UT campuses around the state and making a number of trips a few blocks north of my office to the Texas Capitol to join our very accomplished UT institution presidents in meeting with lawmakers and testifying before various Senate and House committees.

The February Board of Regents meeting was my first as Chancellor and it was action-packed. It again gave me the opportunity to reflect on the true impact of the UT System across the state and around the world. Some highlights of board action from the February meeting and our meeting on March 4 to interview UT Austin presidential candidates included the following:

UT Board of Regents interviews candidates for UT Austin presidency

UT System initiative on the path to “jump-start” brain research

Regents fund initiative to improve health of Texas

UT institutions primed to play a leading role in discovery and innovation

Committee of distinguished UT leaders formed to study admissions

Philanthropy to UT institutions sets record for second year in a row 

The credit for that last headline goes to you—our dedicated UT supporters and advocates, who in so many ways advance the mission of The University of Texas System. UT institutions realized $1.7 billion in philanthropic contributions last year, shattering previous records.

Your faith in our students and our faculty is the foundation they need to learn, explore, discover and succeed. Thank you again for all you do.

With sincerest gratitude and appreciation,

   William H. McRaven, Signature

Bill McRaven

Other Recent UT System News

One-on-One blog with Chancellor Bill McRaven


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Office of the Chancellor
The University of Texas System, 601 Colorado Street , Austin, Texas 78701

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