ARLINGTON and RICHARDSON, Texas (Sept. 7, 2005) — Presidents James Spaniolo of The University of Texas at Arlington and David Daniel of The University of Texas at Dallas — two schools often thought of as competitors — will switch jobs for a day on Tuesday, Sept. 20, in a symbolic demonstration of cooperation and collaboration between the two Metroplex institutions of higher learning.
Spaniolo and Daniel both are relatively new to their jobs. Spaniolo took over as president of U. T. Arlington in February 2004, and Daniel assumed the UTD presidency in June of this year.
Dr. David Daniel,
President of U. T. Dallas
“Unfortunately, UTD and U. T. Arlington sometimes have found themselves focusing too much effort on competing for limited resources rather than expending their energies on encouraging support for higher education in North Texas,” Daniel said. “It is time for that limited emphasis to end, and for the emphasis to broaden and shift toward collaborative efforts that can strengthen both institutions, and enhance the positive impact that we can collectively bring to the Dallas-Fort Worth region. In the 21 st century, this area is going to need several great universities in order for it to compete successfully in the global economy.”
“We have a great responsibility to students, taxpayers and the entire region to leverage our capabilities and to work together collaboratively,” Spaniolo said. “U. T. Arlington and U. T. Dallas both need to succeed, and the best way for them to do that is by working together.”
The two presidents joked that no one needs to worry one of them will close the other’s school down or move it to another state during the day of their presidency. In fact, they said they expect to make an important announcement or two that day that will benefit both universities.
Actually, the two universities already partner and collaborate in a significant number of research and teaching areas, including nanotechnology, computer science, brain imaging, art and photography, robotics and electrical engineering, to cite just a few examples. U. T. Dallas and U. T. Arlington also participate together in joint distance-learning degree programs facilitated through the UT TeleCampus (the foremost of which are the MBA Online and the Criminal Justice Programs), and, in a totally different area, they plan to submit a joint-grant application in February to study pain in patients with sickle cell disease. Most, but not all, of the collaboration in nanotechnology occurs in connection with the Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology (SPRING), a consortium of seven Texas universities and the United States Air Force Research Laboratory that was formed in April 2002 to position the state as a center for education, research and development in the cutting-edge science
In what they promised would be their final tilt to the old rivalry, Daniel and Spaniolo both tried to take credit for the job-swap idea. In the end, however, history forced them to admit they actually were borrowing the idea from a similar exchange involving the heads of Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin in June 2002.
UTD and U. T. Arlington both are part of The University of Texas System and, as such, should work together for the greater good of the people of Texas, they said. (The U. T. System is composed of nine academic institutions and six health institutions.)
Daniel and Spaniolo both said they expected their job-swapping experience in two weeks would be a great learning experience for them personally as well as an important symbol of reconciliation and cooperation for the region. On that day, the two presidents will meet with students, faculty and staff and will showcase a variety of interesting and diverse programs at the two institutions (see attached agendas).
From 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Sept. 20, the two will hold a videoconference between the two universities to discuss how their day is going, to make several announcements and to field questions from the news media.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor ® , enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about U. T. Dallas, please visit the university’s Web site at www.utdallas.edu.
About U. T. Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive teaching, research and public service institution located in the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Its state-of-the-art research facilities, strategic location and innovative student employment programs enhance its partnership with area businesses and industry. U. T. Arlington, a member of the U. T. System, has more than 25,000 students from 150 countries and offers 91 baccalaureate, 76 master’s and 35 doctoral degrees within nine academic units and a graduate school, as well as the only Honors College in North Texas and one of only six in the state. For additional information about U. T. Arlington, please visit the university’s Web site at www.uta.edu.