The University of Texas System Board of Regents 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.
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. Board of Regents Chairman Kevin P. Eltife plans to name the committee soon.
“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.”
Eltife added that Hartzell’s understanding of UT’s operations will be very helpful during the 2021 legislative session, when state finances will be front and center.
“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.”