Board of Regents names UT Austin Interim President Hartzell as sole finalist for permanent position

University of Texas System Board of Regents Chairman Kevin P. Eltife announced today that the Board has named UT Austin Interim President Jay Hartzell as the sole finalist for the permanent post. Hartzell, the former dean of the UT Austin McCombs School of Business, has been serving as interim president since June.

Jay Hartzell, Ph.D.

The Board of Regents typically conducts a national search and appoints a presidential search advisory committee to select a president of an institution, but the Board can also invoke Regents’ Rule 20201, Section 1.9, which allows for an alternative presidential selection process.   The Rule allows the Regents’ Chairman to appoint a committee to offer advice and evaluation on the sole finalist. Eltife plans to name the committee soon.

The motion to consider Regents Rule 20201 was made by Vice Chairman Rad Weaver, who is chairman of the Regents’ Academic Affairs Committee.

“These are unprecedented times for everyone, and it’s certainly true for higher education. As one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious and complex universities, UT Austin needs strong continuity, stability and innovation from its senior leadership, especially as UT provides education in a variety of in-person and remote ways to 50,000 students,” Eltife said. “Jay Hartzell has performed admirably since being named interim president. The regents, chancellor and I have received countless votes of confidence in his abilities from faculty, staff, students and the Longhorn nation. We will look forward to additional input from the committee on all the ways we can support Dr. Hartzell as he leads UT Austin.

“Moreover, we are gearing up for a legislative session that will require significant attention on the budget,” Eltife added. “Now, more than ever, we must have leadership in place that understands the full depth and scope of UT Austin’s operations across the academic, research and athletics enterprises. Interim President Hartzell has been immersed in all those matters.  We are grateful for his strong leadership to date and enthusiastically look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”

Hartzell responded to the Board’s action after the meeting. 

“Leading The University of Texas as interim president has been an incredible honor, and I am equally honored to be named the sole finalist to lead this great university into the future,” Hartzell said. “I look forward to serving my alma mater any way I can as we seek to overcome today’s challenges. I thank Chairman Eltife, Chancellor Milliken and the Board of Regents for their partnership and support.”

About The University of Texas System

For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 14 institutions, an enrollment of nearly 240,000 students and an operating budget of $21.1 billion (FY 2020), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 60,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than half of its health professional degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 9.2 million outpatient visits and 1.8 million hospital days last year. Across UT institutions, research and development expenditures total $3.1 billion – the highest in Texas and second highest in the nation among public higher education systems – and the UT System is regularly ranked among the top 10 most innovative universities in the world. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 85,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.

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