Awards and Accolades

I take the opportunity to highlight three newsworthy items related to excellence within The University of Texas System. Over the past few weeks, several UT System institutions were recognized as being among the best in the United States and beyond, and a significant group of UT System faculty members were honored for teaching excellence by the Board of Regents.

U.S. News & World Report issued its annual “Best Hospitals” edition on Tuesday. I am thrilled to report UT MD Anderson remains the No. 1 hospital for cancer care in the country – a recognition it earned for the sixth year in a row, and the ninth time in the past 11 years – and several specialty programs at UT Southwestern Medical Center were recognized by the publication.  And, many specialty programs at our affiliated hospitals and institutes were cited by U.S. News, including Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center; The Texas Heart Institute; TIRR Memorial Hermann; Parkland Hospital; and San Antonio’s University Hospital. 

UT MD Anderson and UT Southwestern

And, just last week, The Center for World University Rankings released its first report.  UT Southwestern Medical Center and UT Austin were ranked 29th and 30th, respectively.  You may see the full rankings online.

On July 11, the Board of Regents honored 40 faculty members at UT health institutions with the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards.  The event marked the first time the award was given to faculty members at the health institutions in recognition of teaching excellence in the classroom and laboratory. Faculty members undergo a series of rigorous evaluations by students, peer faculty and external reviewers. The review panels consider a range of activities and criteria in their evaluations of a candidate’s teaching performance, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes. Each honoree received $25,000.

Award Medals

Additionally, twenty-four educators were honored for their exceptional contributions to health science education and were inducted into The University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education. Members of the academy represent a diverse group of educators from the many disciplines in health science education who fulfill the strict criteria set by the academy. Among the criteria on which prospective members are judged include: direct teaching; curriculum development; counseling and mentorship; leadership; and educational scholarship and research.

I congratulate the faculty, staff, students and administrators at UT institutions for their dedication and hard work. These awards and rankings are but two examples of the tremendous value and impact University of Texas System institutions have in their respective communities, nation and the world. I am confident the nine academic institutions and six health science centers will continue on an upward trajectory of success as each strive for continuous improvement.

I will be giving an update on progress of The Framework for Advancing Excellence Throughout The University of Texas System at the upcoming Board of Regents’ meeting in August. Campuses have made significant progress implementing several action items, including efforts aimed at improving graduation rates, advising and productivity and efficiency measures. 

With respect and gratitude,

Francisco G Cigarroa