Paul Woodruff, the School of Undergraduate Studies’ first dean, announced today he was stepping down to return to teaching.
The hunt for a new dean comes at a time when the enrollment rate for UGS is expected to increase by 66 percent in the fall. Woodruff said he did not think there would be any problems resulting from a lack of a permanent dean during this time of growth.
“The preparations that we are making for the increase we are making now,” Woodruff said. “We got the additional funding that we need. We’ve been able to continue with a pretty favorable ratio of students to advisers, so I don’t think that is going to be a problem at all.”
Woodruff said UGS was increasing the number of First-Year Interest Groups, adding advisors and learning specialists to the Sanger Learning and Career Center and hiring student tutors to deal with the 66 percent increase.
“We’re doing a bunch of things to accommodate larger numbers of students,” Woodruff said.
An interim dean will replace Woodruff on August 31, and Woodruff said he expects the announcement of the interim dean to come within the next week.
Steven Leslie, provost and executive vice president, will appoint the committee composed of students, alumni and elected faculty. Woodruff said he expects the committee to be appointed before the summer ends.
Woodruff said when he was originally hired as dean of UGS, he was expecting a four year term. After four years, Woodruff said he spoke to UT President William Powers Jr. and the provost about taking on another two years.
“At that point I made it pretty clear to them that was all I could do,” Woodruff said. “I wanted to go back to teaching.”
Woodruff said he is looking forward to connecting with more students, teaching a wider range of courses and having more time for his writing.
“I do quite a bit of writing,” Woodruff said. “I’ve been able to write while I was dean but I’ll be able to do it quite a bit more effectively as professor.”