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UT Board of Regents interviews candidates for UT Austin presidency

AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Board of Regents and Chancellor William H. McRaven met today to interview candidates to succeed William C. Powers as president of The University of Texas at Austin. Powers will step down in June after serving a nine-year tenure.

Following the interviews, which were held in executive session, McRaven recommended that the board defer action to name a finalist or finalists until later this month to allow additional time for consideration and reflection on what he referred to as an “exceptional slate of candidates.” The board must vote to name one or more finalists and then must wait 21 days before making an official appointment.

McRaven thanked the presidential search advisory committee for screening, interviewing and ultimately recommending to the regents candidates who have the expertise, skills and vision to “lead one of America’s top research universities.”

McRaven also expressed his appreciation to advisory committee co-chairs Larry Faulkner, president emeritus of UT Austin, and Pedro Reyes, the UT System’s executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, and to the UT Austin faculty, students and staff who interviewed the search advisory committee’s select candidates in recent weeks. Their comments and recommendations were captured and articulated directly to the chancellor and board during today’s executive session. 

McRaven’s recommendation today was consistent with previous comments that he hoped the meeting would be a time of rich and substantive conversations with select candidates, with time allowed in the weeks afterward to encourage all involved to reflect on those conversations and ask for more information, if desired. 

“This is one of the most important decisions the board will ever make and it will have a tremendous impact not only on UT Austin but on the UT System and entire state of Texas. Therefore I think it is in the best interest of the university for the board and me to take a little time for consideration,” McRaven said. “And, after what we learned today from each of the candidates, I can say with great confidence that UT Austin will be firmly poised to accelerate its strong trajectory toward preeminence.”

Chairman Foster echoed McRaven’s accolades for the candidates and said he was proud of the wonderful work at UT Austin that attracted stellar candidates from all over the nation and world.  

“I agree wholeheartedly with the chancellor’s recommendation, and I am deeply appreciative to the entire board for its high engagement in substantive and productive conversations today,” Foster said.

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 214,000. 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.