Gregory Fenves Named Sole Finalist for UT-Austin President | KERA News

Gregory Fenves Named Sole Finalist for UT-Austin President

Mar 27, 2015

The University of Texas System Board of Regents on Friday named University of Texas at Austin provost Gregory Fenves the sole finalist for the flagship's presidency. 

After meeting in executive session Friday morning, the regents reconvened in open session and voted 5-3 to name Fenves the finalist. Regents Wallace Hall, Alex Cranberg and Brenda Pejovich voted against naming Fenves the sole finalist. There is a 21-day waiting period before Fenves can be officially hired. 

In a statement, UT System chancellor Bill McRaven said Fenves was the right choice for the university.

"We had an extremely impressive slate of candidates to consider, and I believe we’ve made the right choice for UT Austin, its students, faculty and staff," McRaven said. "Greg brings a formidable intellect and charismatic and strategic leadership to the position."

Fenves, 58, will replace outgoing UT-Austin President Bill Powers, who is widely respected on campus and among UT alumni but has been a thorn in the side for system leadership and certain regents. Until last week, Fenves wasn't the front-runner for the job; Oxford Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton was, but he accepted the New York University presidency instead. 

Because of Fenves' close ties with Powers and Powers' rocky relationship with the board, a few regents opposed his candidacy. But the nine-member board only needed a simple majority to name Fenves the sole finalist. 

Outside of Fenves, UT-Dallas President David Daniel was the only other candidate left on the regents' initial short list. Before Hamilton took the NYU job, Joseph Steinmetz, executive vice president and provost at Ohio State University, also withdrew from consideration. 

Before becoming UT-Austin's executive vice president and provost in 2013, Fenves was the school's dean of engineering, where he raised millions of dollars for the university. Fenves also served as the chairman of the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

This story was provided by The Texas Tribune.