UT System announces national search for next UTA president

The setting sun reflects off the UTA tower Jan. 19, 2020, on the corner of UTA Boulevard and Cooper Street. 

The UT System announced the launch of a national search for UTA’s next president Monday.

The search advisory committee will make recommendations on candidates to the board, which will make the final decision.

“We are very grateful for the outstanding work of Interim President Lim, a dedicated faculty and staff, and students who successfully persevered through their studies during the most challenging of times,” UT System Chancellor James Milliken said in an email. “UT Arlington has continued to make significant advancements in education and research, and I am proud of the entire Maverick community.”

Interim President Teik Lim joined UTA in 2017 as the provost and vice president for academic affairs and as a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Lim then served as the administrator in charge when former President Vistasp Karbhari stepped down March 19, 2020. And the UT System appointed Lim as the interim president in May 2020, according to previous Shorthorn reporting.

Since then, Lim has guided UTA through the pandemic and the winter storm in February. He also put in place eight initiatives that work toward a more diverse campus, which included the appointment of Bryan Samuel as the vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion in March 2021.

Lim appreciates the support from the UT System and the UTA community. It has been an honor for him to serve as the interim president, he said in an email.

“At this time, I am focused on continuing my role as interim president, and also to support the Chancellor and the Board of Regents in their process of successfully securing a permanent president for UTA,” Lim said in an email. “Meantime, I am also happy to continue leading this campus as long as the Chancellor and Board of Regents desire for me to do so.”

UTA Faculty Senate chairperson Bill Carroll said he was excited and happy to see the announcement of a national search.

The Faculty Senate has been in talks with Milliken about the presidential search since September 2020 after a hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to previous Shorthorn reporting.

“One of the reasons we wanted a national search is [because] we wanted to open the opportunity up to as many people as possible and, therefore, get the best possible person available,” Carroll said.

Faculty Senate chair-elect Jacqueline Fay said it’s an honor to serve on the search advisory committee.

“I'm really looking forward to learning more about the process and to [be] representing the faculty in this search process,” Fay said.

The search advisory committee members were selected in accordance with the Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations, which requires representation by various constituencies of the institution, the press release stated.

The committee is made up of members including UT System Chancellor, UTA’s deans, faculty, staff, the incoming Student Body President and community members such as presidents from UTA Alumni Association, UT-Austin and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The UT System will soon provide a website with the latest information on the search, a timeline of activities and an opportunity for the community and public to submit candidate nominations and comments privately, the press release said.



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