How to Invest in and Support IE

Watch the IE video Donate to IE now Read the IE Case

William Powers"I'm proud that The University of Texas at Austin is home to the Intellectual Entrepreneurship consortium (IE). Since 1997, the consortium has strived to live out the highest ideals of academic life. Whether helping students find their true passion, exposing first-generation college students to the world of graduate studies, or enabling students to better serve society, the consortium has touched the lives of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members in profound ways. I look forward to seeing how this initiative continues to inform our national dialogue about the role of higher education in society, and I encourage the support of this important work."
Bill Powers, President, The University of Texas at Austin

The Kuhns with Rick Cherwitz and Tommy Darwin join the Kuhn Scholars and mentors
A generous gift from Alice and Michael Kuhn in 2013 helped support IE students.

Michael and Alice Kuhn (far left front row) and Dr. Rick Cherwitz, founder and executive director of the IE program, and Dr. Tommy Darwin, director of the IE program (far right front) join the Kuhn Scholars and mentors.

A former IE student--who wishes to remain anonymous--donated $10K to help other IE students.

The University of Texas at Austin seeks to raise $50 million in endowments, designating UT the first research institution in the twenty-first century to implement bold, new mechanisms capable of harnessing, integrating, and putting to work the university's vast intellectual resources in service of public good. Toward that goal, UT wishes to name the IE Consortium in honor of a visionary person--someone who epitomizes the philosophy of intellectual entrepreneurship and who accepts the challenge of partnering with one of the nation's elite public institutions to lead an exciting movement to revitalize higher education. To suggest names and learn more, please contact Rick Cherwitz, IE Director.

Imagine if students could discover their lives' true passion and commitments, and from the very beginning design their education to pursue that path. The Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE) gives students this opportunity. Coupled with UT's world-class teaching and research, IE provides a dynamic approach to education, enabling students to transform themselves and the world at the same time. IE is an award winning, nationally recognized program that allows students to explore all of the academic possibilities available at UT and empowers them with the capacity to transform themselves and the world. Students can take advantage of IE's network of colleges and programs across campus in a number of ways. Pre-Graduate School interns work with graduate student mentors to explore the possibilities of graduate school and how to succeed there. Students also have the opportunity to work with faculty and community partners in action seminars to solve pressing societal problems. IE seeks to expand the mentorship program to make it available to all students on campus as way to connect their passion, education, and desire to impact the community. IE's programs also have proven to be a powerful method to promote diversity on campus.

The IE Consortium seeks investment by members of the community in projects designed to leverage the intellectual assets of the university to better society. IE's funding priorities include support for "Pre-Grad Internships," "Mentorships," "Follow the Knowledge Fellowships," "Citizen-Scholarships," "Action Seminars," "Instructional Incubators," and other entrepreneurial vehicles capable of producing interdisciplinary, socially relevant knowledge and learning. Money will be channeled through the deans' offices of the colleges that are part of the Consortium and will be distributed to the persons and projects for which the money was raised. Interested citizens, foundations, government agencies, businesses, and philanthropists are invited to invest in any of the following. Please contact Dr. Richard Cherwitz for additional information.

Pre-Grad Internships

Pre-Graduate Internships allow upper-class undergraduates considering graduate school to work with graduate-student mentors and community liaisons with advanced degrees to explore the academic and nonacademic value of graduate study. A fixed number of Pre-Graduate Internships will be offered each year.


IE Mentorships are designed to acquaint freshmen and sophomores with the university experience. Undergraduates will work with graduate-student mentors and community sponsors inside their proposed majors, finding important connections between academic fields and their career aspirations. A fixed number of mentorships will be offered each year.

Follow the Knowledge Fellowships

Follow the Knowledge Fellowships serve two purposes: recruiting top graduate students and answering questions that are important to the community. The fellowships are designed to last throughout a graduate student’s years at the University, typically running five years and paying $20,000 to $40,000 per year. Follow the Knowledge fellows will gain expertise spanning multiple academic disciplines in such arenas as health, environmental studies, multiculturalism and diversity, gerontology, dispute resolution, and nanoscience and nanotechnology.


Entrepreneurships tailor financial support to a chosen graduate or undergraduate student's unique academic/professional vision and what is required to bring that vision to fruition (e.g., research support, academic or non-academic internships, teaching, etc.).


Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for one-year Citizen-Scholarships to work on specific projects in which they utilize their knowledge for the betterment of society and to acquire knowledge through participation in community activities.

Action Seminars

Action Seminars allow community groups to make contracts with the University to study specific social issues. Action seminars could produce public-policy proposals, corporate strategies and partnerships, funded and published research, and new ways of discovering and communicating knowledge.

Instructional Incubators

Instructional incubators develop and deliver courses — for both students and community members — designed to address issues in the community. Undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty will spend the first semester of an academic year designing a community-oriented course they will teach during the second semester. Instructional Incubators create greater access to the intellectual assets of the University and help bring together academic and nonacademic forms of expertise.

Endowed Professorships and Endowed Chairs

Endowed professorships and endowed chairs, with naming rights, enable the University to recruit and retain a world-class director and faculty who will guide students and share their expertise in serving the community.

Naming Rights

The University of Texas at Austin seeks to name the IE Consortium in honor of a visionary person-- someone who epitomizes the philosophy of intellectual entrepreneurship and who accepts the challenge of partnering with one of the nation's elite public institutions to transform higher education.