University Names New Executive Director for University Unions

AUSTIN, Texas  After a national search, the Division of Student Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin has selected Mulugeta Ferede as the new executive director of the University Unions.

Ferede will oversee student development and engagement activities that include Campus Events + Entertainment, business and food services, and facilities management for the University Union, Student Activity Center, Hogg Auditorium and Student Services Building.

"Ferede brings a successful track record of working at university student unions for nearly 20 years, most recently at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We look forward to the energy and new ideas he will bring to our campus community," said Gage E. Paine, vice president for student affairs.

"This position provides leadership and strategic vision for some of the most trafficked spaces on campus while integrating the student experience and our academic mission. Ferede has the skills and talents to carry out this important goal through collaboration with our diverse body of students, faculty and staff," noted Soncia Reagins-Lilly, senior associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

Ferede brings a diverse range of experience to The University of Texas at Austin. As the senior associate director of the Illini Union for the past eight years, he oversaw the expanded role and presence of that union on campus. That included the reorganization and modernization of practices related to programs, facilities, retail sales and food service. Throughout all of his work, Ferede maintains a focus on financial stewardship and a tradition of service and student development.

"I am excited to become a Longhorn and spend my days on the Forty Acres. The commitment to providing high-quality programs, facilities and services supports the educational mission of the university," said Ferede. "I look forward to working with our students and campus community to collectively lead the premier student union operation in the nation."

Ferede will begin his new position Jan. 21. He takes the place of William Andrew "Andy" Smith, who will help Ferede in the transition to his new role. Smith is retiring after 27 years of service.

Ferede received his bachelor's degree in management and his master of business administration from Emporia State University.