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UT Austin Presidential Search Advisory Committee named

AUSTIN – A committee to advise The University of Texas System Board of Regents on the selection of a president for UT Austin was announced today (Sept. 15) by Regents’ Chairman Paul Foster.

The UT Austin presidential search advisory committee will make recommendations on possible successors to President Bill Powers, who announced he will step down on June 5 as the institution’s president.

The advisory committee will be asked to present names of potential candidates to the board, which will make the final decision.

“UT Austin is a gem among the world’s public research institutions and the value it brings to our great state as an educational institution, an economic driver and a haven for research and exploration is immeasurable. Finding a new leader who will continue the work of positioning UT Austin to be America’s top public research university is a priority for the Board of Regents,” Foster said. “The distinguished individuals who will serve on this advisory committee bring a broad perspective, varied experience and sound judgment to this important selection process. The board is grateful for their willingness to serve and looks forward to receiving their recommendations.”

Committee members were selected in accordance with the Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations, which include a provision for representation on such committees by various constituencies of the institution. 

Pedro Reyes, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the UT System, and Larry Faulkner, Ph.D., president emeritus of UT Austin, will co-chair the search committee.

Representing the Board of Regents on the committee will be Vice Chairman Gene Powell, Vice Chairman Steven Hicks and Regent Brenda Pejovich. 

Representing presidents of other UT System institutions are Diana S. Natalicio, Ph.D., president of UT El Paso, and Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D., president of UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Representing the campus deans’ council will be Randy L. Diehl, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Serving as faculty representatives are: Martha F. Hilley, professor of music, Butler School of Music; David M. Hillis, Ph.D., professor of integrative biology, College of Natural Sciences; and Ernest D. (David) Sosa, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, College of Liberal Arts.

Representing the UT Austin staff is Erika Frahm, staff council immediate past chair and senior program coordinator in Human Resources.

Geetika Jerath, president of the Senate of College Councils, will represent the student body on the committee.

Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will serve on the committee as president of the Texas Exes. 

Seven external community representatives, all of whom have demonstrated significant involvement with UT Austin, and six of whom are alumni, were also selected to serve. They include:

  • Printice Gary, founder and CEO of Carleton Residential Properties and former member of the Board of Regents
  • Brian Haley, co-founder of CBTX Capital, former student regent and former UT Austin student body president
  • Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, Southern District of Texas
  • Woody Hunt, chairman and CEO of Hunt Companies, Inc. and former vice chairman of the Board of Regents
  • Admiral William H. McRaven, (Ret.), former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command
  • Jack Randall, co-founder of Jefferies Randall & Dewey Inc.
  • Robert Rowling, founder of TNT Holdings and former vice chairman of the Board of Regents

Spencer Stuart, one of the world’s leading executive search consulting firms, is assisting the UT System in the national search. 

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and an enrollment of more than 213,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $15.6 billion (FY 2015) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.