AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., announced today (Sept. 28) the resignation of David B. Prior, the System's executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. Prior, who has held the senior executive post since June 2007, has been asked to remain in the position until a successor is in place.
"David is a valued member of the UT System executive team and his thoughtful leadership and keen instincts will be missed," Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said. "As an outstanding teacher and researcher with a long record of academic success, he possesses a scholar's passion to strengthening our academic institutions, and he is widely respected for his knowledge and leadership. David's capacity for understanding our complex system and dedication set a high standard and serves as an example for others to follow."
Cigarroa said a national search for a successor will begin immediately. He expressed his appreciation for Prior's willingness to oversee a seamless transition of leadership in the office.
"It has been my distinct honor and privilege to serve the University of Texas System for just over four years as the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs," Prior said. "During that time my focused purpose and energies have always been to support the education and research missions of the System's nine academic institutions, for the benefit of the State of Texas and its students. My clear personal and professional goals, recognized and appreciated by the System, have been to align my service and contributions toward program excellence at all levels. The nine academic institutions – each led by remarkable presidents – are making significant strides in their respective missions to serve the students of Texas, and I am confident those successes will continue well into the future," Prior added.
Cigarroa pointed to several important System initiatives developed and led by Prior, including the community college partnership initiative; the Lower Rio Grande Valley and South Texas Plan; the conversion of the UT TeleCampus to the UT System Shared Service Alliance for Distance Education; the transition of UT Brownsville to a free standing four-year institution; and the Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards, which are considered a national model for recognizing teaching excellence. Prior also provides important leadership and support for the System's four emerging research universities and is a strong advocate for the Faculty Advisory Council and Student Advisory Council.
The executive vice chancellor for academic affairs is responsible for the UT System undergraduate, graduate and research programs conducted at the system's nine academic institutions. Through the presidents of those institutions, the executive vice chancellor is responsible for academic planning and programs, budgets, facilities planning and construction, and personnel.
Prior holds a faculty appointment in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin and he is active in many important international higher education affairs, including serving as chairman of the Academic Advisory Council for the Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS and as an honorary adviser and chairman of the advisory group of the Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia. Before joining the UT System in 2007, Prior was executive vice president and provost at Texas A&M University in College Station. He was a faculty member at Texas A&M University and held several other administrative positions, including interim executive vice president and provost, dean and deputy dean of the College of Geosciences, and associate dean for research and associate dean for solid earth sciences. Texas A&M University bestowed the titles of emeritus executive vice president and provost and emeritus dean shortly after his appointment with the UT System.
The University of Texas System is one of the nation's largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $13.1 billion (FY 2012) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 215,000 in the 2011 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.