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UT Interim President Jay Hartzell named sole finalist for permanent position

President Greg Fenves announced his departure for Emory University in April.

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas Board of Regents on Wednesday announced it has named UT Interim President Jay Hartzell as the lone finalist to become the university's next president.

Hartzell, the former dean of the McCombs School of Business, has been serving as interim president since June after former President Greg Fenves announced in April he would be resigning to accept a position at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

RELATED: UT Austin President Greg Fenves leaving for Emory University; interim UT president selected

The board usually conducts a national search and appoints a presidential search advisory community to select a university president, but this year invoked Regents' Rule 20201, Section 1.9, which allows for an alternative selection process. This rule allows the chairman to appoint a committee to offer advice and evaluation on the sole finalist. Chairman Kevin Eltife plans to name this committee soon.

Eltife released the following statement Wednesday:

“These are unprecedented times for everyone, and it’s certainly true for higher education. As one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious and complex universities, UT Austin needs strong continuity, stability and innovation from its senior leadership, especially as UT provides education in a variety of in-person and remote ways to 50,000 students. Jay Hartzell has performed admirably since being named interim president. The regents, chancellor and I have received countless votes of confidence in his abilities from faculty, staff, students and the Longhorn nation. We will look forward to additional input from the committee on all the ways we can support Dr. Hartzell as he leads UT Austin. Moreover, we are gearing up for a legislative session that will require significant attention on the budget. Now, more than ever, we must have leadership in place that understands the full depth and scope of UT Austin’s operations across the academic, research and athletics enterprises. Interim President Hartzell has been immersed in all those matters. We are grateful for his strong leadership to date and enthusiastically look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”

Hartzell responded Wednesday after the board's decision:

“Leading The University of Texas as interim president has been an incredible honor, and I am equally honored to be named the sole finalist to lead this great university into the future. I look forward to serving my alma mater any way I can as we seek to overcome today’s challenges. I thank Chairman Eltife, Chancellor [James] Milliken and the Board of Regents for their partnership and support.”

RELATED: UT Austin interim president responds to students' calls for diversity, equity changes

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