The University of Texas at Dallas, also known as UT Dallas, is considered the second-largest public university in Dallas. It was initially founded to be a private research arm of Texas Instruments. Over the years, the university is known for its rapid growth in research output and its competitive undergraduate admission strategies. Aside from that, the university is also known for having members of the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Science. It is also associated with four Nobel Prizes. This article will discuss the history of the University of Texas in Dallas, the best school for research in Texas.
Before J. Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott, and Cecil Howard Green founded the University of Texas at Dallas, and they purchased Geophysical Service Incorporated on December 6, 1941. Along with the rapid increase in defense contracts, the General Instrument Division of GSI grew considerably and was later became known as Texas Instruments, Inc. or TI, in 1951.
However, despite the growing demand, TI lacked qualified personnel in the Dallas-Fort Worth area because the its universities did not have enough graduates that are equipped with advanced training related to physical sciences and engineering. That is why Texas Instruments was obligated to recruit capable people from other states throughout its expansion. In 1959, TI’s founders observed that in order for their company to grow industrially, Dallas must grow academically as well. It must have an intellectual atmosphere that will allow it to compete with other new industries and produce highly skilled and creative minds.
That is why in 1961, Jonsson, Green, and McDermott decided to establish the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest. The institute was initially located in the Fondren Science Library at Southern Methodist University. And in 1962, Jonsson, McDermott, and Green decided to purchase a nearby empty cotton field in Richardson, TX. They built the first facility, which is the Laboratory of Earth and Planetary Science, which opened in 1964. Three years later, the Southwest Graduate Research Center changed its name to Southwest Center for Advanced Studies or SCAS.
Governor Preston Smith signed House Bill 303 on June 13, 1969. This bill added the institution to the University of Texas System, which eventually created the University of Texas at Dallas. When Texas Instruments and UTD co-founders decided to donate the young university to the UT System, they said they envisioned it to become “MIT of the South.” During the time when it was added to the UT System, the institution only accepted graduate students and offered Masters and Ph.D. programs. They did not provide undergraduate Bachelor’s degree programs yet.
Expansion and growth
In 1972, the university received 275 acres of land from the Hoblitzelle Foundation. This generous donation permitted the campus to expand and add several new facilities, including the notable Eugene McDermott Library, Cecil H. Green Hall, and a campus bookstore. Aside from the land donation, the school also received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and was awarded their first diplomas in 1973.
In spring 1976, the university offered its first bachelor’s degrees. Aside from this, The Callier Center for Communication Disorders became part of the UTD. From 1974 to 1977, the university’s enrollment increased from 700 to more than 5,300 students.
In 1990, the University of Texas at Dallas became a four-year institution. During that time, the university accepted about 100 incoming first-year students. Along with this, the state instructed that the admission criteria for incoming newcomers must be as strict as the requirements of UT Austin.
From 2007 to 2010, the University of Texas at continued its campus expansion with the addition of the Center for BrainHealth, Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory, as well as 600,000 square feet of new facilities added from 2007 to 2010
In 2010, the Student Services building was opened, and the enrollment rate at UT Dallas had hit a record of over 17,000 students.