UTA Looks to Lead DFW in Becoming ‘Mega-City’

UTA merged two programs into the new College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs


The University of Texas at Arlington sits in the middle of the booming Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, and it president sees that as a big advantage in leading the region forward to become a “mega-city.”


UTA President Vistasp Karbhari [Photo Courtesy UT Arlington]

UTA President Vistasp Karbhari, an Indian-born structural engineer, wants more for his university, and sees UTA’s strategic plan as a tool to achieve greatness for his school.

Karbhari wants UTA to lead DFW into a future that takes its competitive advantages and moves the region to what he calls the mega-city status.

“We will be at mega-city status of 10 million people very quickly,” Karbhari said in a D Magazine story. “One of the challenges of a mega-city is looking at built environments as well as public policy. The concept was that if we were truly going to make an impact on how Dallas prepares to become a mega-city, there was a need, in my mind, to try to do much more to shape it in the best way possible.”

To that end, Karbhari had an idea to merge the school’s administration-focused public affairs and urban planning department with its studio-based study areas such as architecture.

UTA’s new College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs grew from Karbhari’s idea.

Karbhari found his founding dean for the new college in Utah — Nan Ellin.

She arrived in Arlington in 2015 has used innovative techniques to get faculty to buy into the merged departments, such things as off-campus gatherings and TED-style talks. Her techniques seem to be working. Find out more about her approach in the D Magazine article.

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