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Paths to Excellence

Paths to Excellence
The Dell Medical School and Medical Education in Texas

An inspiring account of how the Dell Medical School came into being at the University of Texas at Austin more than 125 years after the campus was established.

Series: The University of Texas Health Press

December 2021
Not yet published

Available for pre-order.
This book will be available in November 2021.
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280 pages | 6 x 9 |

For more than a century, medical schools and academic campuses were largely separate in Texas. Though new medical technologies and drugs—conceivably, even a vaccine instrumental in the prevention of a pandemic—might be developed on an academic campus such as the University of Texas at Austin, there was no co-located medical school with which to collaborate. Faculty members were left to seek experts on distant campuses. That all changed on May 3, 2012, when the UT System Board of Regents voted to create the Dell Medical School in Austin.

This book tells in detail and for the first time the story of how this change came about: how dedicated administrators, alumni, business leaders, community organizers, doctors, legislators, professors, and researchers joined forces, overcame considerable resistance, and raised the funds to build a new medical school without any direct state monies. Funding was secured in large part by the unique willingness of the local community to tax itself to pay for the financial operations of the school. Kenneth I. Shine and Amy Shaw Thomas, who witnessed this process from their unique vantages as past and present vice chancellors for health affairs in the University of Texas System, offer a working model that will enable other leaders to more effectively seek solutions, avoid pitfalls, and build for the future.


Kenneth I. Shine, a former senior vice chancellor for health affairs with UT System in Austin, is a courtesy professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Dell Medical School.

Amy Shaw Thomas is the senior vice chancellor for health affairs with UT System in Austin.