University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves is leaving the state’s flagship college for Emory University, where he will become president Aug. 1, he told the UT community in an email Tuesday.
He will depart June 30.
“The timing of this news in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is not what I had expected or wanted,” Fenves wrote. “Our dedicated faculty and staff have striven to make the spring 2020 semester meaningful for our students. I want you to understand that I remain singularly focused on continuing that work, completing the semester and getting our community back to normal before my presidency ends on June 30.”
Fenves has been president of UT-Austin since 2015, after serving as executive vice president and provost, and as dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering.
During his tenure, the university successfully defended its race-conscious admissions program before the Supreme Court and expanded the financial assistance it offers low- and middle-income undergraduates. Fenves' comparatively calm term succeeded years of strife between former President Bill Powers and regents and statewide leaders who were pushing to make the university more closely resemble a business.
“I am proud and honored to have served as dean of engineering, provost and, for the past five years, president of UT," Fenves wrote. "I am grateful for the trust you placed in me as leader of this great university that improves the lives of Texans and changes the world every day."
Fenves received a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and master's and doctorate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, in civil engineering.
The current president of Emory, a private university in Georgia, announced last year that she would retire effective this August.
Clare Proctor contributed to this report.
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