January 15, 2019
Dear UT Community,
I am writing to let you know that Sharon Mosher is planning to conclude her tenure as dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences and return to the faculty, effective Aug. 31, 2019.
A member of the UT community for 40 years, Dean Mosher joined the faculty in 1978. She is a widely respected and renowned expert in structural geology and tectonics, and is best known for her contributions to understanding the tectonics of New England and Texas. Her commitment to students is particularly inspiring. She has shaped the lives of students in the classroom and in the field, and as a field camp director for 15 years. Previously as department chair and now as dean, she is a strong advocate for her faculty, research scientists and staff. Beyond UT, she has held numerous leadership positions, including distinguished tenures as president of the Geological Society of America, founder and board chair of GeoScienceWorld, and president of the American Geosciences Institute.
President Gregory L. Fenves shared this about Dean Mosher’s contributions to UT Austin.
"Since 2009, Dean Sharon Mosher has led the Jackson School of Geosciences with great dedication and wisdom. She has had numerous accomplishments as dean — including UT’s geology graduate program earning a No. 1 ranking from U.S. News & World Report in 2018 — but it is the personal impact Sharon has had as a mentor and champion of her students that defines her leadership. Now, as she returns to the faculty, the Jackson School is truly in a class of its own, and that is due in large part to Sharon Mosher.”
Dean Mosher’s accomplishments are too numerous to list here, but a few of the most significant include:
- As dean of the Jackson School, she developed a cohesive college-level school administrative structure, integrating the three independent units, the Department of Geological Sciences and two major research units, the Institute for Geophysics and Bureau of Economic Geology, to create a scientific institution unmatched in combined scope, impact, and direct societal relevance of its Earth science activities. As the longest tenured dean during the early years of the Jackson School, she created a strong foundation the school will continue to build upon for years to come.
- Through her leadership, the school doubled in size by recruiting and retaining exceptional faculty members, research scientists and postdoctoral students, and by increasing the enrollment of outstanding graduate and undergraduate students. This growth resulted in increased diversity and equity, and the expansion of world-class facilities on both the main and J.J. Pickle Research campuses.
- The development of talent she accomplished has focused on interdisciplinary research and increased the depth, breadth and impact of its research. This has resulted in a highly ranked and respected academic reputation as demonstrated by the 2017 Nature Index ranking of No. 3 for U.S. universities in Earth and Environmental Sciences and No. 4 for Geology globally. In the 2019 U.S. News & World Report of Best Graduate Schools, the Jackson School is ranked No. 1 in Geology, No. 7 in Geophysics/Seismology (No. 2 for public universities), No. 7 in Earth Science Overall (No. 3 for public universities).
- A primary focus was providing students a superior education and robust student services to help them excel academically and in future careers. During her tenure as dean, there was an increase in experiential learning and undergraduate research, an expansion of field programs and greater global opportunities and partnerships.
Most importantly, Sharon cares deeply about UT and the Jackson School community. From the first time I met her, it was clear to me that her leadership is driven by her desire to help others and how they work to broaden our knowledge and understanding of the world around us. I value her advice and counsel, and like many others, I appreciate everything she has contributed to this campus.
Please join me in celebrating Dean Mosher’s accomplishments and thanking her for her service as dean.
Executive Vice President and Provost
The University of Texas at Austin