McCombs Dean Jay Hartzell named interim UT-Austin president after announcement of Fenves departure

Lauren Grobe

Update, 3:02 p.m.: The UT System Board of Regents voted Wednesday to appoint Jay Hartzell, dean of the McCombs School of Business, as UT-Austin’s interim president.

UT-Austin President Gregory Fenves announced Tuesday morning he will leave the Texas flagship this summer to become president of Emory University.

Fenves has worked at UT for 12 years, serving as the dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering, provost of the University and president since 2015. He will leave the University on June 30 and begin work at Emory on August 1, according to the news release. 

“With all the uncertainty we are dealing with, we felt strongly that it would be important for … all of Longhorn nation that we name an interim president as soon as possible,” UT System Chairman Kevin Eltife said during the Wednesday virtual meeting. “The first person that came to my mind for the job was Dean Jay Hartzell of the McCombs School of Business.”

The Board of Trustees at Emory voted Tuesday morning to name Fenves as the next president, according to the release.

Fenves said he made the decision to leave prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The timing of this news in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is not what I had expected or wanted,” Fenves said. “I want you to understand that I remain singularly focused on continuing that work, completing the semester and getting our community back to normal.”

Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost, announced March 26 she would leave the University on May 15 to become the president of Stony Brook University. Dan Jaffe, vice president for research, was named interim vice president and provost last week. 

Laura Morales contributed to this reporting.