I am writing to let you know that Paul Goldbart, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, has accepted a new position as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Stony Brook University. Dean Goldbart has been a tremendous leader and partner during his tenure as dean, and we wish him well on this exciting new chapter. His new appointment begins March 22.
Associate Dean David Vanden Bout has agreed to serve as interim dean. David is an experienced and capable leader who will be able to lead the college with skill and intelligence while we seek a new permanent dean. His appointment will begin in March.
Dean Goldbart came to UT in 2018 after serving as dean of the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech. Since then, he has distinguished himself as a visionary and thoughtful leader. He sought out new partnerships, made important investments in the college, and built upon the strong talent and national reputation of our students, faculty and staff. During my time as interim provost and previously in my role as vice president for research, I have often relied on his insights and perspectives.
“I want to thank Dean Goldbart for his innovative and collaborative leadership of the College of Natural Sciences,” said President Jay Hartzell. “I appreciated his vision for this key college at UT, whereby more and more people would naturally associate ‘Texas’ with ‘Science’ as a result of our continued pursuit of excellence. Dean Goldbart has also been steadfast in leadership of the college during the pandemic and in his commitment to diversity in the Sciences. Having worked closely with Paul while we were deans together and as successive chairs of the President’s Sustainability Steering Committee, I fully appreciate the contributions he will bring to Stony Brook. On behalf of the whole of campus, we wish him all the best!”
Working with the college and departmental leadership and with the faculty and staff, Dean Goldbart and his college have accomplished a great deal in these last three years. I highlight here just a few of these:
- Led the university’s largest college amid myriad changes related to the pandemic. Worked with faculty and staff members to ensure comprehensive support for effective teaching, and he supported research and rapidly ramped up critical operations related to COVID-19. He focused efforts to manage campus changes for staff members, students and faculty members in Austin, the McDonald Observatory in West Texas and the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.
- Worked with the CNS community to prioritize student learning and high-quality instruction, as well as faculty and staff development initiatives. The college established programs for early-career and mid-career faculty and fostered cross-college communities of practice among staff to support professional development.
- He helped launch innovative partnerships and initiatives within the college and with other colleges and schools, such as the Texas Mindset Initiative with the College of Liberal Arts, which promotes students’ well-being and educational engagement. He also supported the launch of TEXAS Robotics, a research partnership with the Cockrell School of Engineering, and online master’s programs. He worked with the college to host “Cross-Cutting Conversations”, which brought together faculty members and experts from across campus together to explore key issues.
- Worked with leadership to advance strategic initiatives to address racial inequities and improve inclusion and equity efforts. He helped develop a college-wide planning framework with faculty, staff and students. He also led efforts to secure the largest-ever philanthropic gift to the College of Natural Sciences, the Stengl-Wyer Endowment.
Dean Goldbart is a national leader and the university has benefitted tremendously from his leadership. Although we are sad to see him go, we wish him the best of luck in his next role as provost.
Please join me in celebrating Dean Goldbart’s accomplishments and thanking him for his tremendous service to the university.