The University is set to name Brent Iverson as the new dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies later this week. Iverson currently serves as a chemistry professor and chairman of the department of chemistry and biochemistry.
UT President William Powers Jr. selected Iverson after a search committee interviewed five finalists from across the country, all of whom met with students and faculty on campus in the last few months to present their goals for the position. The committee recommended three candidates to Powers in April.
“As someone who was part of the initial conception of the School of Undergraduate Studies, Brent Iverson is the perfect person to build on the successes of the school, creating pathways for leadership and excellence in undergraduate studies,” Powers said in a statement. “He is a recognized teacher, researcher and scholar, with a proven commitment to providing our undergraduates with the best academic experience possible.”
The appointment will be effective July 1. At a public forum in April, Iverson said the School of Undergraduate Studies must focus on helping students find and explore their passions.
“Higher education changes and it’s going to continue to change,” Iverson said to The Daily Texan in a separate interview in March. “I fundamentally believe that UGS is going to be the beacon of change on this campus. It’s going to enhance what goes on around it. So I hope the right person gets it, even if that is not me.”
The School of Undergraduate Studies emerged in 2006 to serve as a "home and champion of the core curriculum," as dubbed by the Task Force on Curricular Reform — a task force which Powers chaired and Iverson sat on in 2005. Iverson will take over for Larry Abraham, who has been serving as interim dean since Paul Woodruff, classics and philosophy professor, stepped down last year.
As dean, Iverson will oversee the core curriculum, advising services, undergraduate research, interdisciplinary programs and first-year programs within the school. According to the search committee criteria, the dean reports to the Provost and through a visionary strategic planning for the school, coordinates with administrators, deans and department chairs to improve undergraduate education and fundraise for new initiatives.
Iverson has been at UT since 1990 and is a member of the University's Academy of Distinguished Teachers — a collection of the top 5 percent of tenured professors on campus — and a member of the inaugural class of the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He was originally scheduled to teach organic chemistry in the fall, but his classes have been reassigned to other professors in the department, according to the most recent course schedule.