AUSTIN, TexasThe position of vice president and dean of graduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin has been merged into the portfolio of Dr. Sheldon Ekland-Olson, executive vice president and provost, in a move expected to strengthen the academic enterprise at the university.
The merger decision was announced this week by Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of the university.
The vice president and dean of graduate studies position became vacant in September when Dr. Teresa Sullivan resigned to become the new executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at The University of Texas System. Faulkner said his decision to merge the position into the provost’s portfolio followed numerous conversations with a variety of people on campus as well as with Sullivan.
“My belief is that the merger is in the university’s best interest because, in essence, it will connect the principal units under the vice president and dean of graduate studies much more firmly into the process of academic development, priority-setting and budgeting, which are responsibilities of the provost,” Faulkner said.
The president said he concluded that the merger will “lead to a stronger academic enterprise, with a systematically improved voice for graduate education and interdisciplinary activity.”
Ekland-Olson said, “I look forward to working even more closely with colleagues in graduate studies who have made the Graduate School at The University of Texas at Austin one of the strongest programs in the country.”
Faulkner said the provost will continue to have a dean of graduate studies and that the Office of Graduate Studies will remain intact.
Ekland-Olson said Thursday (Nov. 21) that he recommended, and Faulkner has approved, the appointment of Vice Provost Victoria Rodriguez as interim dean of graduate studies. Rodriguez has indicated she is not a candidate for the permanent position and will serve temporarily until a new dean is appointed. The process of appointing a search committee for the new dean position will begin next week and the position is expected to be filled by next Sept. 1.
For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.