Chancellor William McRaven's proposed Quantum Leaps Initiative has been funded by the nine-member Board of Regents for the UT system. The system-wide goals of the initiative are designed to move the UT system into a position of excellence among the nation's university systems.
The Chancellor's initiatives harness the power of diverse groups of citizens and educators working toward common goals. He is encouraging collaboration and team building as a way to address complex problems.
Funds were reallocated from other programs; senior leadership evaluated programs to see if they had already met goals and had unspent funding that could be moved to support the new Quantum Leaps Initiative.
Two of the initiatives focus on diversity in hiring and equity in pay. A proposed five-year plan will remove gender gaps among faculty pay and increase the diversity in the hiring pools for all levels of positions.
There is also an initiative that addresses student success in higher education and seeks to ensure that students have the support and tools they need to complete their education. Part of this preparation for success is an excellent primary education, and the first initiative, The Texas Prospect Initiative, includes a number of programs designed to improve education and literacy from elementary school.
Several initiatives involve work in critical national research areas, including brain health and national security. The American Leadership Program will help prepare students to have an impact on our challenging future as a nation.
The regents defined priorities for the upcoming legislative session and included Chancellor McRaven's proposal to scrap the automatic top ten percent admission rule and keeping the current state plan for providing instate tuition for undocumented students who attended high school in Texas. McRaven says, "...it's the morally right thing to do." The board will also ask the legislature to maintain the ability for university presidents to establish gun-exclusion zones on campuses.