Interim UT President Hartzell named sole finalist for permanent job


AUSTIN (KXAN) — It appears the University of Texas at Austin’s interim president is on his way to locking down the job.

The University of Texas System Board of Regants named Jay Hartzell, who took over in an interim role in April, as the lone finalist for the school’s permanent position.

Hartzell was the dean of the McCombs School of Business for the school before being named the interim president in April, following the announcement of Greg Fenves’ departure.

Hartzell’s selection was done differently from how the board typically picks a finalist for university president, a press release from the board says. Usually, a national search is conducted by a search committee, but the board decided to invoke Rule 20201, which allows the board to do an alternative presidential selection process.

It also allows the chairman of the board to appoint a committee to “offer advice and evaluation” on the sole finalist. Chairman Kevin P. Eltife said he’ll name committee members soon.

These are unprecedented times for everyone, and it’s certainly true for higher education. As one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious and complex universities, UT Austin needs strong continuity, stability and innovation from its senior leadership, especially as UT provides education in a variety of in-person and remote ways to 50,000 students.

Jay Hartzell has performed admirably since being named interim president. The regents, chancellor and I have received countless votes of confidence in his abilities from faculty, staff, students and the Longhorn nation. We will look forward to additional input from the committee on all the ways we can support Dr. Hartzell as he leads UT Austin

UT System Board of Regents Chairman Kevin P. Eltife

Board Vice Chairman Rad Weaver made the motion to consider the rule.

“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. “I look forward to serving my alma mater any way I can as we seek to overcome today’s challenges. I thank Chairman Eltife, Chancellor Milliken and the Board of Regents for their partnership and support.”

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