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Leading Candidate Drops Out of UT President Search

The leading candidate to be the next president of the University of Texas at Austin, University of Oxford Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton, has been named the next president of New York University.

University of Texas President Bill Powers speaks to Provost Gregory Fenves during a board of regents meeting on July 10, 2014.

*Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Andrew Hamilton, vice chancellor of the University of Oxford in England and the leading candidate for the University of Texas at Austin presidency, will instead be the next president of New York University, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Sources close to the UT president search told The Texas Tribune earlier this month that Hamilton was the front-runner to replace embattled current president Bill Powers. The other finalist, they said, was Gregory Fenves, the current provost of UT-Austin. 

The Austin American-Statesman first reported that Hamilton, the former provost of Yale University, was the preferred choice of the regents. But his salary requirements and start date were among the hurdles the UT System had to scale to hire him, and it was well known that NYU was pursuing him for its top job as well.

Sources told the Tribune that if the regents did not pick Hamilton, UT System Chancellor William McRaven did not intend to re-open the search because he is supportive of Fenves as an alternative. Several regents, unhappy with Powers, oppose Fenves because he has worked closely with him.

A simple majority of the nine regents is required to hire a president. The seating of three new regents last week could change the outcome of any vote and would likely be more favorable to Fenves, sources told the Tribune.

Hamilton is the second candidate to drop from the UT System's short list of prospective candidates. Joseph Steinmetz, the executive vice president and provost at Ohio State University, was also under consideration but withdrew earlier this year.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here. 

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