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UT System Regents name former UT Austin president as interim chancellor

The University of Texas System Board of Regents today named Larry R. Faulkner to become Chancellor ad interim of The University of Texas System. Faulkner received a unanimous vote of support and will begin his interim duties on June 1. He has agreed to serve until outgoing Chancellor William H. McRaven’s successor is selected and has assumed office. He is not a candidate for the permanent position. In December, 2017, McRaven announced that he would leave his post on May 31, 2018.    

Faulkner is a well-known and highly respected figure in the American higher education, scientific, business, and nonprofit environments.  He served as 27th president of The University of Texas at Austin from 1998 to 2006, and was named President Emeritus by the regents upon his retirement.  He served as president of Houston Endowment, one of the nation’s largest private foundations, from 2006 until 2012.  Prior to his UT leadership post, Faulkner had a long, distinguished career on the chemistry faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also served as provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs and dean of the college of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In earlier years, he served on the chemistry faculties at Harvard University and The University of Texas at Austin.

“We are exceptionally honored to have Dr. Faulkner continue his public service at the UT System while we are deeply engaged in the selection of a new permanent chancellor.  He is widely known and respected for his steady hand in higher education leadership and administration, rich knowledge of the UT System and its institutions, and breadth of relationships throughout Texas and the nation.   His strengths present the Board of Regents and the chancellor search committee with an optimal opportunity to concentrate on and conclude the search knowing that the System is in the perfect position to continue its advancement during this period,” said Regents’ Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker, following the Board’s vote.  “Dr. Faulkner can step in seamlessly to continue to provide a high level of strategic leadership and support to all UT presidents and UT System Administration employees, and my colleagues on the Board and I look forward to working with him,” added Tucker.    

In addition to leading UT Austin through some of the most profound stages of its reputational growth, Faulkner was acknowledged for his attention to the arts as well as the sciences.  Projects ranging from construction of one of the nation’s foremost university museums, the Blanton Museum of Art, to the Nano Science and Technology Building, which brought the university’s nanotechnology program to national prominence, occurred under his watch.  The latter building now bears his name, based on recognition bestowed on him by the Board of Regents in 2010.  Faulkner has also participated on or led a variety of national government and business task forces on matters ranging from teaching to research to policy. 

“I am honored by the Regents’ request,” said Faulkner. “Mary Ann and I thoroughly enjoyed our years of leadership at UT Austin, and if the Board now desires that I serve the UT System as a whole on this interim basis, I am happy to assume that responsibility.  I look forward to working with colleagues I’ve known for years and quickly getting to know newer ones as we work together to serve Texas well.”

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 a projected enrollment of more than 234,000 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 2018 is $18.3 billion, funded in part by $3.6 billion in sponsored programs from federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and 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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