University of Texas at Arlington President Spaniolo announces retirement

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President James D. Spaniolo of the University of Texas at Arlington announced Monday he was retiring but will remain in the position until the Board of Regents found his replacement.

Spaniolo emailed the announcement to students, faculty and staff after meeting with his Executive Committee, Cabinet and Deans Council.

“After careful thought, I have concluded it is the appropriate time to pass the baton and let others continue the stewardship of our remarkable institution,” Spaniolo said in the e-mail.

Spaniolo served as UT-Arlington’s president for the past 8 1/2 years, and his retirement comes after two years of sharp increases in student enrollment at UT-Arlington. In 2009, UT-Arlington’s student enrollment was 28,085 students, but these numbers increased to 32,975 in 2010 and rose again to 33,439 in 2011. This placed UT-Arlington as the second largest school in the UT System, a position the University of Texas at San Antonio previously held.

UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said he was impressed with Spaniolo’s work as UT-Arlington’s president.

“He has been a superb and collaborative president, and he has led his university with great integrity, vision and creativity,” Cigarroa said.

From 2009 to 2010, UT-Arlington increased its freshman retention rate from 65 to 70 percent.