AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas President Gregory L. Fenves announced the new Council for TEXAS Impact in his 2019 State of the University address on Wednesday.

"The council's purpose will be to think deeply about the future and identify key areas where UT can have the most impact on Texas, the nation and the world," Fenves said.

The council will be made up of more than 20 faculty members, two staff members and three student leaders. Chairs of the council will be professors Bobby Chesney from the School of Law and Lauren Meyers from the College of Natural Sciences.

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Fenves urged the UT community to bring their ideas to a series of forums that will be held across the campus in the coming months so that the council best reflects the university's vision.

Fenves said that the council will be focusing on imagining breakthroughs and discoveries that will change the world for the better.

"At UT, we say, 'What Starts Here Changes the World,'" Fenves said. 

During the address, Fenves also announced:

  • Long-term efforts to increase student housing spaces, including hiring "an experienced consulting firm" to student housing at UT
  • A new graduate fellowship program in the College of Liberal Arts
  • The "Texas Challenge," a call for donors to raise $50 million to build on the Texas Advance Commitment financial aid program for middle- and low-income students

"When we think about the future, we have a responsibility to make good on the promise of our potential. To expand our influence. To be bold. To reach even higher heights," Fenves said.

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