Neal Weaver officially named Stephen F. Austin State University president

AUSTIN, TEXAS – In a special called meeting on March 18, The University of Texas System Board of Regents unanimously approved Neal Weaver, Ph.D., as the new president of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Weaver, who has served as president of Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) since 2017, will officially begin his new appointment in mid-May.

Neal Weaver profile photo

Weaver, chosen as the sole finalist for the position by the UT Regents on Feb. 22, will succeed interim president Gina Oglesbee, becoming the 11th president in Stephen F. Austin’s 100-year history and the first as a UT institution. SFA, which joined the UT System last September, offers over 80 bachelor’s, 40 master’s, and four doctoral degree programs spanning more than 120 areas of study across its six colleges.

The UT Regents selected Weaver from a slate of candidates presented by the presidential search advisory committee, chaired by Chancellor James B. Milliken. The committee included representation from SFA faculty, students, alumni, and community leaders, along with UT presidents and regents.

“Dr. Weaver’s successful leadership across multiple public university systems will be valuable in guiding SFA into its new era as a UT Institution,” said UT System Board Chairman Kevin P. Eltife. “We appreciate the dedication and diligence of our search advisory committee throughout this process.”

During his seven-year tenure at GSW in the University of Georgia System, Weaver drove growth in enrollment, student retention, and fundraising. Milliken highlighted Weaver’s achievements there, underscoring his potential to foster similar progress at SFA within the UT System.

“Dr. Weaver’s demonstrated record of expanding the impact of a regional university is important to the regents and me, and we look forward to providing our full support as he leads SFA into its very promising future,” Milliken said.

Weaver holds a PhD in organizational leadership from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Business Administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Panhandle State University. He and his wife, Kristi, have three sons and one granddaughter.

“From its incredible campus culture to a proud and devoted alumni base to its outstanding faculty and staff, Stephen F. Austin has all the tools necessary to be a powerful force in East Texas, within the University of Texas System, and across the entire state,” Weaver said. “Kristi and I are excited to join the Lumberjack Nation and help SFA realize its full potential and new levels of success.”

About The University of Texas System

With 14 institutions that enroll over 256,000 students overall, the UT System is the largest university system in Texas and one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produced over 63,000 graduates last year and awarded more than one-third of the undergraduate degrees in Texas, as well as 60% of the state's medical degrees. The combined efforts of UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics resulted in over 10.6 million outpatient visits and more than 2 million hospital days in 2023. UT’s $4.3 billion research enterprise is one of the nation’s most innovative, ranking No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the U.S. for federal research expenditures. With an operating budget of $29.1 billion for fiscal year 2024, UT institutions collectively employ more than 122,000 faculty, health care professionals, support staff and students.

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Catherine Frazier: • 512-499-4360 (direct)