UT Dallas Announces Creation of New Arts, Technology School

The Arts and Technology (ATEC) program has seen rapid growth since its inception at UT Dallas more than a decade ago. It will become part of the new School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, which was approved Thursday.

The University of Texas at Dallas is creating a new school focused on arts, technology and emerging communication after the UT System Board of Regents approved the move Thursday.

Since their inception, both theArts and Technology(ATEC) andEmerging Media and Communication(EMAC) programs have seen rapid growth. At the end of 2014, the number of students enrolled in these programs included 1,096 undergraduates, 167 master’s students and 28 PhD candidates.

“This is just one more indication of the tremendous success UT Dallas is fostering through its programs and leadership,” said Bill McRaven, chancellor of The University of Texas System. “The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication will help UT Dallas better manage rapidly growing programs and also create more visibility for the degrees offered by this new school.”

UT Dallas President Dr. David E. Daniel consulted with deans, faculty, student government and the faculty senate about the concept of establishing the new school.

“We are grateful that Chancellor McRaven and the Board of Regents supported and approved this new school,” Daniel said. “We anticipate this will provide UT Dallas students with an even stronger learning environment and overall experience.”

The Emerging Media and Communication (EMAC) program was introduced in 2008 at UT Dallas to study the uses, impact and implications of digital technology in contemporary culture. The program will be part of the new arts and technology school.


UT Dallas created the Arts and Technology program to explore the intersections of science and engineering with the creative arts and the humanities more than a decade ago. In 2008, the Emerging Media and Communication program was introduced to study the uses, impact and implications of digital technology in contemporary culture.

The programs are housed in theEdith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, a 155,000-square-foot facility that features classrooms for game design, sound design and visual arts, conference rooms, 2-D drawing and painting art studios, 3-D art studios, a recording studio, a motion capture lab, soundproof chambers, and photography and 3-D fabrication labs.

Arts and Humanities Dean Dennis Kratz conceptualized the programs making up the new school, and created a proving ground for their development and their growth to a school level,” Daniel said. “By reorganizing, we create an opportunity for the core programs of the School of Arts and Humanities to sharpen focus on their objectives, and become even better, and for the school to consider other new programs to develop.

“These actions, collectively, are designed to provide more and better educational opportunities for students and an even better environment to support faculty members’ excellence in their work.  We will now begin the process of getting faculty, staff and student input on how we can grow Arts and Humanities and help it reach new heights of success.”

Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said the new school “will have the same status as the seven other currently constituted UT Dallas schools, and will be able to facilitate faculty collaborations among them all on an equal footing.”

The new school will be formally introduced on campus as early as the fall 2015 semester. A new dean for ATEC will be appointed pending a national search.