Search for next UTA president restarts after pandemic hiatus

The University of Texas system is restarting its search for a new president on the Arlington campus more than a year after the pandemic disrupted the process.

Vistasp Karbhari, the school’s former president, resigned in March last year after the university system launched an investigation into recruitment and enrollment practices at UT-Arlington.

The school appointed Teik Lim, provost and vice president of academic affairs at UT-Arlington, as interim president after COVID-19 suspended presidential research.

Being the largest school in North Texas and the second in the UT system, the next president “will be responsible for moving UT Arlington forward in an ambitious way,” said UT system president Kevin P. Eltife.

UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken said he hoped the regents would be able to select the next president by the end of this year.

“We have the opportunity to attract… the best leaders in higher education from across the country,” said Milliken.

The university is in a much better position than it was a year ago to begin its research, as officials did not want to overwhelm the next president with the challenges of the pandemic, he added.

A committee tasked with helping the regents find the next president is chaired by Milliken and includes the president of the University of Texas at Austin, Jay Hartzell, students, faculty, staff, alumni and external members of the community.

A new leader will take control of the campus of around 48,000 students after the pandemic dramatically disrupted education and forced many schools to suddenly move their classes to distance learning. Now colleges are trying to plan for more in-person learning over the coming year.

The UT system ad it will create a website to inform the campus community of the research, including a calendar of activities and an opportunity for people to privately submit nominations and comments.

Karbhari, who has been president since 2013, resigned after an investigation uncovered questionable relationships between campus administrators and a private provider who helped the university offer an online nursing program.

The DMN Education Lab deepens coverage and conversation on pressing education issues critical to the future of North Texas.

The DMN Education Lab is a community-funded journalism initiative, with support from The Beck Group, Bobby and Lottye Lyle, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Dallas Regional Chamber, Deedie Rose, The Meadows Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network , Southern Methodist University and Todd A. Williams Family Foundation. The Dallas Morning News retains full editorial control of Education Lab journalism.

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