The University of Texas System (UT System) has approved the creation of the Regents’ Research Excellence Program across its four Emerging Research Universities, including UT Arlington, UT Dallas, UT El Paso, and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).
The UT System has allocated $55 million across the ERUs to fund the recruitment of research-active faculty to increase its national research prominence and federal funding opportunities.
“This investment by our Board of Regents and UT System, coupled with the National Research Support Fund support from the Texas Legislature, is profoundly important to our positive trajectory as a discovery enterprise,” said UTSA President Dr. Taylor Eighmy.
“The opportunity to bring world class talent in strategic areas of focus to UTSA will add to our talented faculty ranks and allow us to focus on federal funding opportunities, Ph.D. program growth and discovery translations that benefit our city, state, and nation,” he continued. “We will be able to create a number of impactful areas of thought leadership and expertise, and I am so thrilled for our institution that we have this incredible investment and opportunity.”
UTSA officials expect the allocation from UT System to translate to about 40 new faculty positions with an intentional effort to recruit mid- to senior-level strategic faculty hires in five years. The intent is to attract highly competitive groups of scholars who will add expertise that cuts across disciplinary divides to enable true transdisciplinary innovations that will enhance competitiveness, increase federal funding opportunities, and advance the university’s capacity to meet UT System and state goals as outlined by the Texas Legislature.
The investment will continue to support the growth of the university’s R1 research culture by deepening the established research areas of expertise while developing emerging research specialties to create prominence in new transdisciplinary domains.
The UTSA Division of Academic Affairs and the Office of Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise will launch a February call for Clustered and Connected Hiring proposals to encourage collaboration among existing faculty who work within or across the cross-cutting areas that enhance research visibility and competitiveness.
“This new program will allow us to better align our capabilities with federal priorities and facilitate collaboration among the full range of our faculty, we can realize significant impact more quickly, grow our outstanding faculty, and help build UTSA’s thriving research enterprise,” said Dr. Heather Shipley, UTSA’s interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “By adding faculty deeply engaged in new avenues of research, it will attract students to UTSA who are looking to expand their learning and gain valuable experience in these areas.”