UT-Austin announces president Greg Fenves to leave for Emory University

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UT-Austin president Greg Fenves announced Tuesday he will step down on June 30 to take the position of president of Emory University in Atlanta.

“I am writing to let you know that after 12 years at UT, I will be leaving the Forty Acres this summer,” Fenves said in a letter to the UT community. “The job of a university president is multifaceted, and there is often a natural end. Earlier this year, before the crisis, I decided it was the right time to conclude my tenure at UT. And just a few hours ago this morning, the Board of Trustees at Emory University in Atlanta voted to name me as their next president, a job I will begin on August 1.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, Fenves mentioned he is “singularly focused” on continuing to make the spring 2020 semester “meaningful for our students” and “getting our community back to normal” before his presidency ends. Fenves said he decided “earlier this year, before the crisis” he would conclude his tenure at UT this spring.

Fenves became president of UT in 2015 after serving as executive vice president and provost and as dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. Prior to his second stint at Texas, he became an “internationally renowned expert on structural engineering for earthquakes” among other honors at the University of California, Berkeley.

Several athletic hires and decisions were made during Fenves’ presidency, including the hires of head football coach Tom Herman and athletic director Chris Del Conte. Major building campaigns like the Moody Center and the south end zone expansion of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium began while Fenves was in office. In addition, several building improvements for non-revenue sport facilities were started or completed during his term.

The opening of the Dell Medical School and other directives with low and middle-income families in mind were major academic projects undertaken by Fenves.

“I am proud and honored to have served as dean of engineering, provost and, for the past five years, president of UT,” Fenves said. “I am grateful for the trust you placed in me as leader of this great university that improves the lives of Texans and changes the world every day. Improving lives is at the heart of The University of Texas’ mission and will always be in the future.”

“To the legions of alumni and friends in Longhorn Nation, I say thank you. There are so many supporters and benefactors who have invested in the university, most recently to help students affected by COVID-19. I appreciate each one of you.”

Emory University is a private institution in Atlanta, Georgia affiliated with the United Methodist Church. According to the school’s official website, 15,451 students attend the institution with 8,079 undergraduates.

“I am deeply honored to be named president of Emory University by the Board of Trustees,” Fenves said in an Emory statement. “It has been a privilege to lead UT Austin, which I believe is among America’s best public institutions of higher education. I am excited to join one of the country’s finest research universities. Optimistic about Emory’s future, I am convinced that working together as one university, we will move Emory from the outstanding institution it is today to one of eminence.”