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UT Regents name finalist for president of UT San Antonio

AUSTIN—The University of Texas System Board of Regents named T. Taylor Eighmy, Ph.D., as the sole finalist for the presidency of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

The regents voted unanimously to select Eighmy at a special board meeting Friday. The decision followed an executive session where regents interviewed several candidates in person and considered recommendations from a presidential search advisory committee that reviewed nominations and applications for the position.

Taylor Eighmy, Ph.D.

Eighmy currently serves as vice chancellor for research and engagement and professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Prior to that, he served as vice president for research and professor at Texas Tech University and assistant vice president for research at the University of New Hampshire.

Eighmy has extensive experience in university leadership ranging from developing top tier institutions to building critical student success programs. He has worked very closely with state legislators, industry, and business and civic leaders to develop critical and sustainable partnerships and build resources from a variety of public and private sources.

Regent Ernest Aliseda, who served on the search advisory committee, said the caliber of the candidates interviewed was exceptional and indicative of UT San Antonio’s impressive – and growing – reputation.

“The selection of Taylor Eighmy proves that UT San Antonio is a destination for our nation’s top leaders in higher education,” Aliseda said. “Eighmy will be unrelenting in his efforts to increase student success, faculty engagement and the national stature of UTSA. And his leadership style will be an ideal fit for a national leading city like San Antonio.”

Regent Sara Martinez Tucker, chair of the Board’s academic affairs committee, said selecting the president of an institution is one of the most difficult and important responsibilities of the regents, but it is a decision made with confidence because of the diligent and in-depth efforts of the search advisory committee in vetting candidates.

“We are very thankful to all the members of the advisory committee,” Tucker said. “It has been gratifying to watch UT San Antonio’s ascent over the years, and my fellow regents and I believe that Dr. Eighmy is the right person to elevate the premium placed on student success and research prowess.”

The search for a new leader began late last year, after President Ricardo Romo announced his plans to retire. Pedro Reyes, Ph.D., the UT System’s former executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, has been serving as interim president since March, when Romo stepped down.

Under state law, university governing boards must name finalists for a presidency at least 21 days before making an appointment. During that time, UT System leaders will coordinate meetings to give the university and San Antonio communities the opportunity to hear from Eighmy. 

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 228,000 students, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates approximately 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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