UT chooses Greg Fenves as new provost

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Greg Fenves, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering, has been appointed as the next provost of the University of Texas

The provost is a position that typically deals with academic, research and curriculum affairs. Fenves is entering the position at a historical and dramatic moment for the University. UT has just started building the Dell Medical School, which Fenves will play a crucial role in. The University's leaders are also seemingly at odds with the UT System's Regents, who lawmakers have accused of trying to fire UT President William Powers Jr.

Fenves said in a press release that his top prority is to build upon the University's foundations of academic excellence. 

 “These include strengthening the connections of our undergraduate students to the knowledge-creating communities in departments and programs, increasing the number of highly ranked graduate programs at UT, recruiting and retaining world-class faculty, and building the Dell Medical School as the leader for 21st century medicine and health care delivery," Fenves said. "By meeting these objectives, UT can offer unmatched opportunities for our students, the state of Texas and our nation.”

In the same release, Powers praised Fenves.

Greg Fenves is exactly the right person for the job, Powers said. He has led initiatives to improve research competitiveness, undergraduate retention and graduation rates, international and entrepreneurship programs, and fundraising for the Engineering Education and Research Center. He has the skills and experience to advance UT in many key areas." 

Fenves is replacing current Provost and Executive President Steven Leslie. Leslie has served as the provost since 2007, and announced this past spring he was stepping down.

Follow Bobby Blanchard on Twitter @bobbycblanchard.