UTD Hosts Second Annual Economic Development Summit Online

November 17, 2020

The UT Dallas Office of Facilities & Economic Development welcomed industry and economic development leaders to its second annual Economic Development Summit November 10. Dr. Calvin Jamison, vice president for facilities & economic development, hosted the virtual event.

Dr. Richard Benson, president of UT Dallas and Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership

Dr. Richard Benson, president of UT Dallas and Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership

This year, the Summit focused on the challenges industry and academic institutions are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, how organizations have adapted, and what institutions in the North Texas region should do to effectively operate and collaborate going forward.

Dr. Richard Benson, president of UT Dallas and Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership, provided a “State of the University” address and discussed how COVID-19 has affected the University’s operations, as well as what UT Dallas has done to keep campus safe during the pandemic. Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, provided a State of the Economy keynote address that was especially timely due to the election having taken place a week before the Summit. Mr. Kaplan and Dr. Benson then held a virtual “fireside chat” about the North Texas and national economy before taking questions from the audience.

Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Dr. Inga Musselman, vice president for academic affairs and provost of UT Dallas, moderated a panel of academic and industry leaders about adapting to the “different normal” during and post-COVID-19. The panelists were Dr. Steven Small, dean of the UT Dallas School of Behavior and Brain Sciences; Herb Weitzman, executive chairman of Weitzman; and Trina Wilson, director of staff counsel for GEICO.

The Summit also provided guests with the opportunity to break out into virtual discussion sessions to apply the content presented in the Summit to their own professional experiences. The first breakout session was specific to University research post-COVID-19, and was led by Dr. Anne Balsamo, dean of the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication, and Dr. Joe Pancrazio, vice president for research. The second breakout session focused on what UT Dallas should be doing to prepare its students for the post-COVID workplace. It was led by Dr. Jennifer Holmes, dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, and Dr. Hasan Pirkul, dean of the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

The Office of Facilities & Economic Development works closely with its Economic Development Advisory Committee of local industry and economic development professionals to expand its reach into the North Texas community. The Office will continue to host the Economic Development Summit annually to engage with and encourage the North Texas community to develop meaningful partnerships with the University enhancing our role as an Economic Engine for the Region.


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