AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas at Austin’s President Jay Hartzell delivered the school’s annual State of the University address Tuesday afternoon.

Hartzell announced the University achieved record enrollment and applications for Fall 2023, set a new benchmark in graduation rates and announced a new financial program to help “navigate Austin’s affordability challenges and bolster recruitment and retention of faculty and staff members,” a release said.

One of the highlights from the address included the university’s recently released plan for the UT Medical Center, which will be built at the site of the former Frank Erwin Center and partnered with MD Anderson.

Hartzell also talked about plans to implement a commuting subsidy to help staff come back to campus.

“Part of what’s hurt has been having our staff, especially the lowest-income staff, trying to find ways to navigate getting back to campus in a post-pandemic world. So, for the first time, we will have a subsidy to offset the cost of commuting or the cost of parking as they come back to campus,” Hartzell said.

This marked Hartzell’s fourth State of the University address since he was appointed as the university’s president in 2020 and came the same week that UT was ranked in the top 10 public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Where UT stands in latest rankings

In the U.S. News & World Report 2024 undergraduate rankings released Monday, UT was ranked as the ninth-best public university in the country and No. 1 among public universities in Texas.

Overall, UT ranked No. 32 among both public and private schools this year, climbing six places from its 2023 ranking.

Within the university, the McCombs School of Business ranked No. 5 in the country, with 12 of its school specialties listed among U.S. News & World Report’s Top 10. Its accounting program retained its No. 1 listing.