Less than two days after news broke that University of Texas at Austin president Greg Fenves will leave the Forty Acres to take over as the president of Emory University in Atlanta, the Board of Regents and Chancellor James B. Milliken named McCombs School of Business Dean Jay Hartzell as the interim president.
“We have observed Jay Hartzell’s outstanding leadership for years, and every member of our Board and the Chancellor have full confidence in Jay’s abilities to navigate UT Austin through this unprecedented time in the university’s and nation’s history,” Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife said.
“Jay Hartzell is a Longhorn for life. Over the past 25 years, he has been a student, professor and academic leader on the Forty Acres and a leader nationally in business education and real estate finance. There is no one better suited to lead the flagship campus, inspire Longhorn Nation and move our university forward.”
“Dean Hartzell has done a superb job leading one of the largest colleges on campus, and he has built trusted relationships with faculty and students as well as with alumni and state leaders. As Chairman Eltife and I spoke to Regents about candidates who could provide the strong interim leadership UT Austin needs today, it became quickly apparent that Jay had the confidence of everyone. He is highly regarded on campus and off and is well positioned to lead the institution through these challenging times,” Milliken said.
Hartzell and Fenves will work together over the coming months as Hartzell continues his focus on the response to COVID-19.
The 50-year-old Hartzell earned his Ph.D from UT in 1998 and then returned three years later as a faculty member. His notable accomplishments that prepared him for his current role include collaborations across schools, colleges, and departments, efforts in diversity and inclusion within the business school, and the completion, fundraising, and construction of the graduate business facility.
“I am very grateful to Chairman Eltife, the Board of Regents and Chancellor Milliken for this opportunity to lead UT at such a crucial time,” Hartzell said. “The Forty Acres have been my home for most of my life and I look forward to working with our fantastic leadership team, alumni, faculty, staff and students to lead UT through today’s crisis and create an even brighter future for this great university.”