President-Designate Richard C. Benson Sends Message to Campus

Dr. RIchard C. Benson

Dr. Richard C. Benson

To the students, faculty and staff of The University of Texas at Dallas:

Earlier today, the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System provided me with the greatest honor of my professional career — the opportunity to serve as the next president of The University of Texas at Dallas. I accept! 

I have not yet met many of you in person — something that I intend to change in the coming weeks — but I already know much about you. Collectively, you set UT Dallas on a stunning upward trajectory that is much commented on in academic circles. I note especially the recent designation as a Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education doctoral university of the highest research activity. Such advancement does not happen easily. It comes about from the hard work, dedication and commitment of the campus community, supporters of UT Dallas, and those who have built the institution’s reputation throughout the years.

We are far from done. As I make the transition to my new role, I look forward to working with you toward making UT Dallas a global force in education, innovation and research. We will continue to grow the student enrollment, expand the research portfolio, strengthen ties to the Metroplex and across Texas, grow the campus infrastructure, and hire the sort of faculty members and staff members that cause our colleagues at other universities to applaud. Future generations of UTD students will be like the Comets that have come before them — high flying and bright.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, where I have been privileged to serve as dean, has experienced many of the same successes as UT Dallas. In the last 10 years, we have increased enrollment, increased research expenditures and achieved higher academic rankings. I will always have fond feelings for the “Hokie Nation,” which is why you will occasionally see a bit of Chicago maroon mixed in with my new favorite colors of flame orange and eco green. 

How fortunate we are that this is our time to take UTD to the next level! Along the way, we will enlist the support of our alumni, friends of the University and the Texas Legislature. In addition, I look forward to working with the Board of Regents and the UT System leadership, including Chancellor William McRaven, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Steven Leslie and Deputy Chancellor David Daniel, our extraordinary past president.

Thanks to the many of you who have extended a warm Texas welcome to my family and me. My wife, Leslie, and I eagerly anticipate joining the community. As I complete my academic tenure at Virginia Tech, I plan to be on the UT Dallas campus as much as possible, leading up to my official start on July 15. If you see me out and about, please say hello.


Richard C. Benson signature

Richard C. Benson
The University of Texas at Dallas

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].