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Texas Instruments’ Gift Creates Early Career Faculty Award at UTD
Longtime Supporter Donates $5 Million for New Electrical, Computer Engineering Endowment
Oct. 29, 2019
On the occasion of The University of Texas at 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.
Promising early career faculty members in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will be eligible for the new award established by Texas Instruments’ gift. Recipients will get $50,000 a year for up to six years to support their research.
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.
“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.”
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.”
Texas Instruments’ gift commemorates the shared history between TI and UT Dallas. Three of Texas Instruments’ founders — Eugene McDermott, Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green — established the institution in 1961 that would later become UT Dallas in 1969. The trio of visionaries observed promising young Texans leaving the state to pursue their educations while the three TI leaders struggled to import out-of-state talent to work at their Dallas-based headquarters. Hoping to create better higher education opportunities in North Texas, they established the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, which became the foundation for UT Dallas.
The TI Early Career Award endowment extends this founding vision in perpetuity, helping to ensure the recruitment of top engineering talent to the North Texas region. The gift is the largest single commitment to UT Dallas made by TI, the University’s longest supporter.
The gift was announced today at the University’s Founders Day celebration, an annual campuswide event honoring the UT Dallas founders.