Powers announces professorship to honor UGS dean

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Former Dean of Undergraduate Studies Paul Woodruff speaks Thursday afternoon at a reception commemorating achievements during his tenure.

Photo Credit: Jorge Corona | Daily Texan Staff

President William Powers Jr. announced a new professorship Thursday that will support programs and faculty doing innovative work in the field of undergraduate studies.

The professorship was made in honor of outgoing School of Undergraduate Studies Dean Paul Woodruff, who stepped down from his position as of today to return to full-time teaching. Alumni, Woodruff’s former students and fellow faculty members raised $270,000 to fund the new position. In addition, the president’s office is going to add an additional $100,000 to create the professorship.

Woodruff announced he was returning to teaching in June after six years as the first dean of undergraduate studies. UGS Associate Dean Lawrence Abraham will serve as the interim dean of UGS until a search committee finds a permanent replacement.

“Very often innovation comes from individual faculty members, who very often need support,” Powers said. “This professorship will be available to support a couple of faculty members.”

Powers surprised Woodruff with the announcement at the ceremony Thursday. Woodruff has been hailed by Powers as the man who built UGS and set it on a path to success for the future.

After Powers’ announcement, Woodruff said he had no idea the professorship would be created and that it would be a tool for the future UGS dean.

“The income from that professorship will allow people to spend a lot of time inventing and creating new courses,” Woodruff said.

Woodruff is returning to full-time teaching, something he said he has missed.

“He has continued teaching while being dean, but he is now returning to full-time teaching,” Abraham said. “He loves teaching so much, he has continued teaching while serving as dean.”

Powers said Woodruff’s absence will be felt.

“Any time Paul Woodruff steps down from any position, it leaves a hole,” Powers said. “We’ll fill that hole, but he is a very important and a very good person around here.”

Powers said this position is a tool that will give professors additional support in their endeavors to innovate UGS.

He said the professorship was created in honor of Woodruff and was not related to the larger incoming freshman class, which is impacting UGS the most heavily.

“The emphasis of [making the professorship] is we need to do something to honor Dean Woodruff,” Powers said. “All of the larger enrollment, we’ve been working on that for three or four months. We’re ready for that.” 

Printed on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 as: Professorship created in honor of UGS dean