13 years ago
Cristen Perkowski

<p>UTD took a huge step in achieving top-tier status with the approval of three new buildings and degree plans by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) July 15.</p>
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<p>The purchase of the buildings may raise UTD’s research funds, President Franklyn Jenifer told UTD News and Information, to more than $50 million – half way to the $100 million benchmark of Tier I schools.</p>
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<p>The $85 million Natural Science and Engineering research building – a component of the $300 million “Emmitt” project announced last summer – is set to begin construction Nov. 1 and be complete by summer 2006.</p>
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<p>”We expect the building to serve as a powerful magnet to attract to UTD top-notch faculty and graduate students … and to serve as a catalyst to help fulfill the Jonsson School’s stated goal of becoming one of the top 50 schools of engineering and computer science in the U. S. in the next five years,” Robert Helms, Engineering and Computer Science dean, told UTD News and Information.</p>
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<p>The research facility will house approximately 350 faculty, graduate students and researchers running the gamut from electrical engineering, chemistry and biology to behavioral and brain sciences.</p>
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<p>THECB also approved the purchase of a building at 17917 Waterview Pkwy – Waterview Science and Technology Center – for use during Founder’s renovation. The $9.7 million project will include the building, furniture and renovations, said Robert Lovitt, senior vice president for business affairs.</p>
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<p>The $1.9 million needed to renovate Founder’s due to fire safety concerns was already approved by THECB, Lovitt said.</p>
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<p>The purchase of 2200 Mockingbird Lane to house UTD’s Center for Brain Health was approved by THECB June 29 and finalized July 1, Lovitt said.</p>
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<p>The 63,000-square-foot building – located next to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas – was made possible through a $5 million gift from Dianne Cash, whose mother had been helped by the staff of the Center for Brain Health.</p>
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<p>In addition to the new buildings, UTD will now offer doctoral degrees in cognition and neuroscience, communication sciences, psychology and public affairs and a master of science degree in psychology.</p>
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<p>The School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences is currently dividing the interdisciplinary doctoral program – human development and communication sciences – into specialized degrees in cognition and neuroscience, communication sciences and psychology.</p>
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<p>”Everything is part of an effort to enhance the university, make better doctoral offerings and better serve the students,” Moore said.</p>
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<p>School of Social Sciences Dean James Murdoch said the doctorate in public affairs is designed specifically for working professionals who want to further their careers in management of public organizations.</p>
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<p>He added the addition of graduate program also will help the university achieve its goal of top-tier status.</p>
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<p>”Having more graduate students around helps us get more grant money,” Murdoch said.</p>
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