New York University

Oxford University Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton, previously considered the front-runner for the UT presidency, will become New York University’s president in January 2016.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Phil Sayer | Daily Texan Staff

Two finalists are left in the search for President William Powers Jr.’s replacement after New York University administrators announced that Oxford University Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton would be their next president.

Hamilton, whom many considered to be the front-runner for the UT presidency, will succeed NYU president John Sexton in January 2016, NYU administrators announced last week. The UT System Board of Regents interviewed Hamilton earlier this month, as did a small search committee.

At this point, Greg Fenves, executive vice president and provost of the University, and UT-Dallas President David Daniel are the remaining finalists in the search for the next UT president, according to sources directly involved with the search committee.

Fenves, who has held his provost position since October 2013, served five years as dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. As the University’s chief academic officer, Fenves is closely connected to Powers, whose relationship with the Board of Regents has been tumultuous at times.

Daniel, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in engineering from UT, became UT-Dallas’ president in 2005. During his tenure there, UT-Dallas’ enrollment has grown from 13,000 to 23,000 students, and the university has raised more than $360 million in private funds.

Before joining Oxford in 2009, Hamilton worked as a chemistry assistant professor at Princeton University and then as chemistry professor and department chair at the University of Pittsburgh. He also served as provost of Yale University from 2004 until 2008.

Hamilton said he has been a “keen observer” of NYU over the years and was honored to have been considered in the NYU presidential search.

“I am delighted to be selected as NYU’s 16th president,” Hamilton said in a statement. “I am looking forward with great eagerness to working with NYU’s faculty, students, administrators, and staff, and to joining a university that is so manifestly energetic, innovative, and successful.”

Hamilton is the second to drop from the System’s handful of prospective candidates. The list had previously included Joseph Steinmetz, the executive vice president and provost at The Ohio State University, but he withdrew his candidacy in February.

Following the Board of Regents’ interviews with Daniel, Fenves and Hamilton, UT System Chancellor William McRaven recommended the board defer naming a finalist or list of finalists until later this month. The Board must vote to name one or more finalists and then wait 21 days before making an official appointment.

Andrew Hamilton, reported as finalist to replace Powers, will be NYU's next president

Andrew Hamilton, vice chancellor at the University of Oxford, will be New York University's next president. Hamilton was widely reported as the front-runner to replace President William Powers Jr. in the search for UT's next president.
Andrew Hamilton, vice chancellor at the University of Oxford, will be New York University's next president. Hamilton was widely reported as the front-runner to replace President William Powers Jr. in the search for UT's next president.

Oxford University vice chancellor Andrew Hamilton has been selected as New York University's next president, NYU administrators announced Wednesday.

Hamilton, whom many considered to be the front-runner for the UT presidency, will succeed NYU president John Sexton in January 2016. Hamilton was interviewed by the UT System Board of Regents and met with a small search committee earlier this month.

“I am delighted to be selected as NYU’s 16th president,” Hamilton said in a statement. “I am looking forward with great eagerness to working with NYU’s faculty, students, administrators, and staff, and to joining a university that is so manifestly energetic, innovative, and successful.”

Greg Fenves, executive vice president and provost of the University, and David Daniel, president of UT-Dallas, are the remaining finalists in the search for the UT president, according sources directly involved with the search committee.

Before joining Oxford in 2009, Hamilton worked as an assistant professor of chemistry at Princeton University, and then as a department chair and professor of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. He also served as provost of Yale University from 2004 until 2008.

To read more about the presidential search process, click here. 

While the Longhorn Network remains elusive on some Austin television screens, students will soon see the network’s direct effects in the classroom.

UT announced two newly created endowed academic chair positions funded in large part by $2.5 million of revenue from the Longhorn Network last week. Effective Sept. 1, the Simons Chair in Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering and Philosophy Chair positions are held by engineer and mathematician Francois Baccelli and philosopher and literary critic Galen Strawson, respectively. Revenues from the Longhorn Network have created seven new chair positions total, including those announced in September.

Out of the seven, three positions have still not been filled.

Strawson’s new academic chair position received $1 million from the Longhorn Network. Strawson is a scholar in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics and moral psychology and has previously taught at American universities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and New York University.

David Sosa, philosophy department chair, commended the addition of Strawson to the department through the new position.

“The appointment of Galen Strawson is a major coup for the Department of Philosophy. Strawson is a leading international scholar with a sterling reputation, a distinguished record of publication, and an impressive range of expertise,” Sosa said.

The use of earnings from the Longhorn Network toward academic purposes raises often debated questions surrounding the financial relationship between athletics and academics at UT.

Joshua Sklar, philosophy junior and co-president of the Undergraduate Philosophy Association, welcomed the news of Strawson’s appointment and said effective utilization of athletic revenues toward academic purposes only made sense given the current financial constraints on the University.

“Many programs have taken hits recently,” Sklar said. “It seems to me that the most responsible use of money from our athletics programs would be to improve the University academically.”

Ahmed Tewfik, electrical and computer engineering chair, said that the appointment of Baccelli will allow the math, electrical and computer engineering departments to cooperatively explore new projects and conduct cutting-edge research across different fields of study.

Baccelli’s position was funded by $1.5 million from LHN and $1.5 from the Simons Foundation, which aims to advance research in math and basic sciences.

“This was a very strong addition to UT because of his ability to talk with engineers and his willingness to work on engineering problems,” Tewfik said. “What we envision is that this is going to lead to a number of innovations in networking sciences.”

In the long term, the departments also plan to create a Center in Information and Network Science with the guidance of Baccelli.