March 26, 2020
Dear faculty colleagues,
As President Fenves shared this afternoon, I will conclude my tenure as executive vice president and provost at UT Austin to serve as the next president of Stony Brook University effective July 1, 2020. My last day here will be May 15.
This was an enormously difficult decision for me, particularly given the evolving challenges we are navigating with COVID-19. I know how hard and challenging these circumstances are for each of you. Thank you for going above and beyond to care for your students and colleagues while also caring for your families and communities.
The past few weeks highlight one of the most impressive attributes of UT — the culture of helping one another during times of need. I have experienced this during Hurricane Harvey, through several crises since, and now with COVID-19. In higher education, we often look to other measures of success: the impact of your research and scholarship, or the rankings of your programs. But right now, the measure of who we are is how we respond to adversity. You are transforming lives by the work you continue doing as educators and mentors and as colleagues. Above all, this is the quality I will always admire and respect most about UT.
During the past four years, I’ve been honored to work with so many of our world-class faculty members, postdocs, graduate students, undergraduates and staff members. Those strong relationships will be with me for the rest of my life.
As excited as I am about the next step in my career, I will dearly miss this community and the Forty Acres. Thank you all for welcoming me into your communities, teaching me about your work and helping me to understand how the university can continue to improve the ways we work together to change the world.