Richard Benson named sole finalist for UT-Dallas president

Caleb Wong

The UT System Board of Regents named Richard Benson, dean of the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, as the sole finalist for the presidency of the University of Texas at Dallas.

The Board of Regents selected Benson unanimously after interviewing three finalists for the presidency Monday. Regents Steven Hicks, Wallace Hall and Brenda Pejovich were not present for the vote. The position has remained open since last summer when former UT-Dallas President David Daniel left to serve as deputy chancellor of the UT System.

Benson oversaw a period of “record growth” as Virginia Tech’s dean of engineering, according to a UT System press release. Applications to the engineering school doubled, the school climbed to its highest ranking ever in the National Science Foundation rankings and research expenditures increased to $214.5 million, according to Benson’s official faculty webpage.

Benson, who is best known for his work in structural mechanics, applied mathematics and design, said he is honored to become UT-Dallas’s sole finalist.

“The prospect of becoming president at UT-Dallas is an honor and an exciting challenge, both personally and professionally. I look forward to our work together as we become a leading public global force in innovation, research and education,” Benson said. “Individuals create an institution, and at UT-Dallas I see world-class faculty, dedicated staff, committed students and engaged alumni.”
Texas state law requires finalists to be named at least 21 days before an appointment to the presidency is made.