The University of Texas System
The STATE OF TOMORROW™ crew interviews Thomas W. Burke, M.D., Executive Vice President and Physician-in-Chief at M. D. Anderson
Texas’ 13 public television stations reach eight million households across the state. With its new television series, STATE OF TOMORROW™: Rising Challenges. Higher Education Solutions., The University of Texas System hopes to be an invited guest in a healthy number of those households.
“We want people to understand that higher education doesn’t only enhance individual students’ lives,” says Mark G. Yudof, Chancellor of the UT System. “Across the state, public universities and health institutions contribute significantly to the lives of all Texans.”
It is highly unusual for a university system to produce a television series, Yudof says, and this effort is being watched by colleges and universities across the nation. “We’re very grateful for the private support we’ve received to launch this series – and for the support of the Board of Regents to move forward with this initiative,” Yudof says.
In addition to receiving support from title sponsors AT&T Inc., and its philanthropic arm, AT&T Foundation, and Exxon Mobil Corporation, the series was made possible by distributions from the Chancellor’s Excellence Endowments.
STATE OF TOMORROW™, UT System’s 13-part series of half-hour programs will be driven by issues critical to 21st century Texans: diverse and significant challenges such as energy, the environment, globalization, urban planning and transportation, K-12 education, and health care.
In each episode, STATE OF TOMORROW™ will highlight significant work going on at the state’s major public universities and health institutions that addresses these challenges. The series will focus on research and service to the public provided by the UT System’s nine academic and six health institutions, as well as by other leading public universities in Texas.
“We want to make a strong, entertaining series – something people want to watch,” says Randa Safady, Vice Chancellor for External Affairs of the UT System, who is the executive producer of the series. “To do this, each segment will focus on telling very personal, human stories. A story about a new cancer treatment is interesting – but a story about that treatment’s effect on the lives of patients and their families is compelling.
“We have fresh, wonderful stories to tell. We’re very excited by this opportunity. It’s a chance for us to reach a far larger audience than we’ve ever reached before.”
To produce the series, the UT System is working with an experienced, highly regarded production company, Alpheus Media.
The first episode of STATE OF TOMORROW™ will air statewide in early 2007, with the subsequent 12 programs running through late spring. The UT System plans to promote its new initiative in a variety of media, including advertising, a companion website, and viewing parties.