Oxford 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. 

Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

Psychology professor William Swann Jr. and Oxford University professor Harvey Whitehouse conducted research on the strength of bonds developed by rebels on the front lines during the Libyan revolution in 2011.

The surveys looked at armed revolutionists on the front line and compared them to non-fighters, such as vehicle and ambulance drivers. In the survey, front-line fighters were more likely to report that their bond was stronger with their battalion than with that of their own families. Oxford associate professor Brian McQuinn and Michael Buhrmester, psychology doctoral student at Oxford, assisted Swann and Whitehouse in the study.

Swann observed the fusion of groups by studying how and why rebels joined and stayed with groups, using their extreme pro-group behavior to predict whether they had an impact on radicalization.

As they looked at whether the rebels would side with their battalion or their family, Swann predicted that rebels would choose their families. But he said that was not the case, as the rebels tended to side with their battalion. Swann said there are two reasons for this.

“One is those fused with fighting for Libya were more likely to fight on the front line,” Swann said. “The other explanation is that there is something about fighting on the front line that causes you to be more fused with your battalion members.” 

According to Swann, McQuinn was the first to go over and take surveys on the ground. A month or two later, Whitehouse followed behind to add to the surveys.

Although McQuinn used this study toward his doctoral research, his work experience had familiarized him with situations such as the revolution in Libya. He served for 12 years as a dialogue and conflict prevention adviser in 14 nations. He also served on international organizations, such as the United Nations and the Carter Center.