UT Permian Basin 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 Permian Basin was announced today by Regents’ Chairman Paul L. Foster.

The UT Permian Basin presidential search advisory committee will make recommendations on possible successors to David Watts, Ph.D., who announced in August his plans to step down as president on Aug. 31, 2017.

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

“Over the past 15 years, President Watts has been the driving force in creating top quality educational, athletic and student programs at UT Permian Basin, and we will work to find a new leader who is equally committed,” Foster said. “The search advisory committee, with its broad representation, is integral to this process and we look forward to receiving the committee’s recommendations.”

Representation includes:

  • Chair of the committee (Steven Leslie, Ph.D., UT System executive vice chancellor for academic affairs)
  • Board of Regents (Regent David Beck)
  • UT institution presidents (Richard Benson, Ph.D., president of UT Dallas, and Giuseppe Colasurdo, M.D., president of UTHealth in Houston)
  • UT Permian Basin dean, faculty, staff and student (Dorothy Jackson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing; James Eldridge, Ph.D., associate professor of kinesiology; Maria Avalos, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Education; James Olson, Ph.D., professor of psychology; Maribea Merritt, assistant director of development and alumni relations; and Jaston Brink, student)
  • Alumni and community members (Daniel Bright, president of the Falcon Alumni Network; Kirk Edwards, president of Latigo Petroleum; and Lissa Noël Wagner, Wagner & Brown)

The UT System will establish a website to provide information regarding the search, including a timeline, and will provide an opportunity for members of the public to privately submit nominations for the next president of UT Permian Basin. The website will be publicized subsequent to the first meeting of the search committee.

Russell Reynolds Associates, a global executive recruitment firm, is assisting the UT System in the national search.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical 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 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 221,000, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates almost two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2017 is $17.9 billion, including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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