AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin has appointed Mark J.T. Smith as the next dean of the Graduate School and senior vice provost for academic affairs. His appointment begins Aug. 1.
Smith comes to UT Austin from Purdue University, where he has served as the dean of the Graduate School since 2009.
“Mark is one of the most widely respected leaders in graduate education in the country. His experience in creating new interdisciplinary initiatives, expanding the global footprint, and leading diversity and inclusion efforts makes him an ideal addition to our leadership team,” said Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost. “We have some of the top graduate programs in the country, and we are thrilled Mark will soon help us do even more.”
In his concurrent role as senior vice provost for academic affairs, Smith will develop and implement strategic policies and practices that will allow the university to define and pursue future academic priorities.
In addition to his efforts as a university leader, Smith is widely recognized for his academic contributions and research in speech and image processing as well as object detection and recognition. He was also a member of the U.S. Olympic fencing teams in 1980 and 1984. He holds an undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree and doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“Few universities have the reach and impact of The University of Texas at Austin. I have always admired the university and the success of the Graduate School, and I am excited to join this team at such an exciting time,” explained Smith. “My focus will be helping students succeed and creating opportunities for them to pursue their dreams. This is an amazing community, and I look forward to the road ahead.”
Smith succeeds Marvin Hackert, who has served as interim dean since June 2015.
“The university has benefitted tremendously from the unwavering leadership provided by Marv Hackert in his role as interim dean of the Graduate School. I commend him for his commitment and distinguished service to this campus,” said McInnis.
UT Austin has more than 40 graduate programs ranked among the top 10 in the nation and four programs ranked No. 1, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 edition of “Best Graduate Schools.” The university has top 10 programs in 12 of its colleges and schools including such disciplines as business, communication, education, engineering, Earth sciences, humanities, information, law, natural sciences, pharmacy, social work and the social sciences.