Following several resignations, top administrative positions still vacant

Matthew Adams

The searches for three college deans and two administrative positions are still underway following several resignations during the past school year. 

Following the announcement of President William Powers Jr. in summer 2014, more positions opened during fall 2014 and spring 2015. Roderick Hart, dean of the Moody College of Communication, said he would resign at the end of the 2015 school year. 

In February, Kevin Hegarty, UT’s vice president and chief financial officer, left to take the same position at the University of Michigan. 

In the meantime, Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and Tom Gilligan, dean of the McCombs School of Business, stepped down from their positions after the spring semester. Former Provost Gregory Fenves also vacated his position after he was named
UT president. 

Currently, each of the colleges has an interim dean until a permanent hire is made. 

Barry Brummett, professor in communication studies and chair of the search committee for the College of Communication, said in an email that finalists were presented to then-Provost Fenves, but he asked the committee to continue searching for finalists. Brummett said the committee is hoping more finalists will be brought to campus early next year.

“The committee is enthusiastic about our slate of candidates, that we have begun meeting and discussing them, and we are all pleased with our progress and our choices,” Brummett said in an email.

William Inboden, chair of the LBJ search committee and professor in the school, said there would be a total of four finalists visiting in the next two weeks. Following interviews, the committee will present the finalists to Fenves, and he will make his decision.

“The timing of that decision will be up to President Fenves’ discretion, especially since he has several other important searches he is overseeing simultaneously,” Inboden said in an email. “That said, if things proceed smoothly, it is possible that a new LBJ Dean could be announced sometime early in 2016.”

Robert Wilson, interim dean of the LBJ School, is not one of the finalists for the position because he formally removed his name in the spring when he agreed to serve as interim dean, Inbolden said.

Andres Almazan, chair of the business school search committee and professor in McCombs, said at this time, the committee is bound by confidentiality and cannot talk about the specifics of its search.

“I will simply state that, as a committee, we are working hard, that we have had a tremendous amount of interest in the position and that I personally feel that the candidates are of the highest caliber,” Almazan said in an email.

University spokesman Gary Susswein said searches for the vice president and chief financial officer and provost are still in progress but hopes the provost position will be filled soon. 

“There has been a first round of interviews,” Susswein said. “There are no finalists named at this point. We hope to resolve this in the coming months.”