UT System Board of Regents names Jay Hartzell as sole finalist for UT-Austin president

Andrew Zhang

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from a UT System press release.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents named Interim President Jay Hartzell as the sole finalist for UT-Austin’s next president in a special called teleconference meeting Wednesday.

“The Board had an opportunity to discuss the performance of Dr. Jay Hartzell as (Interim President) at UT-Austin,” board chairman Kevin Eltife said at the meeting. “His work has been outstanding in these critical times that we’re facing. We have heard positive comments from members of the University community and the public about his effectiveness in his role.”

Hartzell was appointed as the interim president April 8, after former President Greg Fenves left UT-Austin to become president of Emory University. Hartzell was formerly the dean of the McCombs School of Business.

Typically, a committee is established to find presidential candidates in a nationwide search, according to a UT System press release. However, Hartzell will be appointed through an alternative method, where the Regents appoint a committee to evaluate a sole finalist under Regents’ Rule 20201, Section 1.9.

A public college or university governing board must name one or more finalists for president and then wait 21 days before appointing them, according to state law. 

The board also authorized Eltife to appoint a special committee to provide an evaluation on Hartzell’s candidacy for presidency.

With a legislative session approaching next year, Eltife said in the press release that Hartzell’s experience in academics, research and athletics distinguish his ability to serve as the next president.

“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 in the press release. “I look forward to serving my alma mater any way I can as we seek to overcome today’s challenges.”