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McDowell Award for Innovation

The School of Undergraduate Studies is still accepting donations to the Cale McDowell Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Studies.

The Cale McDowell Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Studies was established to encourage research or innovation that improves The University of Texas at Austin core curriculum. The annual award will be primarily for staff in the School of Undergraduate Studies, but any student, faculty, or staff member who demonstrates extraordinary effort or a strong individual commitment to improving the undergraduate experience at UT Austin will be eligible, based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated innovation in undergraduate programming
  • Conducted research aimed at improving the undergraduate experience
  • Created or supported policies designed to improve the core curriculum
  • Enhanced or streamlined the delivery of academic services

Learn more about nominating someone for the McDowell award.

The award honors Cale McDowell (B.B.A. ’05, M.P.A. ’06, J.D. ’09), one of the founders of the School of Undergraduate Studies and former Deputy to the Dean. During his time at the university, McDowell served as Vice Chairman (‘04-‘05) and Chairman (‘05-‘06) of the Senate of College Councils and was appointed by President Larry Faulkner in 2004 to the Task Force on Curriculum Reform. McDowell was a co-author of both the report of the Task Force and the Faculty Council motion adopting many of its recommendations.

During the early months of Bill Powers’s tenure as president of the university, McDowell served as Aide to the President and, in that role, worked with college deans and the Faculty Council toward the approval of the university’s new core curriculum. Upon the appointment of Paul Woodruff as inaugural Dean of Undergraduate Studies in September 2006, McDowell joined the Dean’s senior staff and became responsible for negotiations with faculty committees, all of the university’s colleges and schools, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which led to the implementation of the new core curriculum for all undergraduate students and the creation of the School of Undergraduate Studies.