Finalist Chosen for UTSA’s Next President

Courtesy of University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Courtesy of University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Gaige Davila

The University of Texas System Board of Regents named Taylor Eighmy, vice-chancellor of research and engagement at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, as the sole finalist for UTSA president.

The Board of Regents met Friday morning in Austin and interviewed candidates in a closed session, announcing their decision that afternoon. The Board of Regents voted unanimously for Eighmy after interviewing several candidates, considering recommendations from a presidential search advisory committee.

Under state law, the announcement for university president finalists must be made 21 days before the final vote.

Eighmy served as vice president for research at Texas Tech University and assistant vice president for research at the University of New Hampshire.

Eighmy is also a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, serves on the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board and chairs the USEPA Research Budget Workgroup.

Roger Ernest Aliseda, a member of the search advisor committee, said in a UT System press release, “The selection of Taylor Eighmy proves that UT San Antonio is a destination for our nation’s top leaders in higher education.

“Eighmy will be unrelenting in his efforts to increase student success, faculty engagement and the national stature of UTSA. And his leadership style will be an ideal fit for a national leading city like San Antonio.”

In the same press release, regent Sara Martinez Tucker, chair of the Board’s academic affairs committee, said “We are very thankful to all the members of the advisory committee.
“It has been gratifying to watch UT San Antonio’s ascent over the years, and my fellow regents and I believe that Dr. Eighmy is the right person to elevate the premium placed on student success and research prowess.”

Meetings between Eighmy, university and San Antonio communities are planned within the weeks leading to the regents final vote, according to the UT press release.
The search for UTSA’s next president came shortly after former UTSA president Ricardo Romo announced his retirement in September 2016. Romo’s presidency was abruptly ended amid a sexual harassment scandal earlier this year. Dr. Pedro Reyes serves as UTSA’s president ad interim.