President Faulkner’s Statement
to the University Community
June 30, 2005
With this statement, I am announcing publicly that I will conclude my service as President of The University of Texas at Austin. The change will, of course, be made in an orderly manner. My expectation is that I will hand off directly to my successor during the spring of 2006, after the completion of a national search for a new president. I have already asked Chancellor Mark Yudof and James Huffines, Chairman of the UT System Board of Regents, to begin the process.
By the end of my service, I will have completed eight years in office. This is quite a long period in the history of our university. Only one of the 26 individual presidents has served beyond it. The University has had many successes during the past eight years, and Mary Ann and I feel privileged to have been a part of them. But the time comes for the energy and fresh ideas of a new leader, and both of us firmly believe that this is the time for change here. We perceive our choice as one between committing to service through and beyond the legislative session of 2007 or stepping down on a schedule that leaves time for a successor to prepare for that session. Given the alternatives, it is clear to us that this is the moment for change.
Mary Ann and I have no specific plans for the next phase of our lives. We are making the choice that we believe most beneficial for the University and for us, and we will let the future unfold as it does. It is our target to hand the reins to a successor on March 1, 2006, but the search could take longer. I have indicated to the Chancellor and the Chairman that I may be willing to serve beyond that date if the transition requires it. On the other hand, Mary Ann and I are also reserving the latitude to make the change a little earlier, if necessary, for whatever comes next for us.
I am grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me in 1997 by the Board of Regents under Chairman Donald L. Evans, and I deeply appreciate the partnership and steady support of three chairmen, all individual members of the Board of Regents, three chancellors, and three executive vice chancellors for academic affairs. Chairman James Huffines, the members of the current Board, Chancellor Mark Yudof, and Executive Vice Chancellor Teresa Sullivan currently provide strong leadership for the UT System, and I am grateful for their partnership.
Despite our belief that we are taking the right action, Mary Ann and I will lay down our work here with regret. Serving this great university and this great state in such a capacity has been the highest privilege of our lives. We are proud of the deeds accomplished, the students served, the friends made, and the partnership forged with so many colleagues and supporters.There is, of course, still work to be done. Almost 10% of my term remains, and I look forward to fulfilling it with energy and additional accomplishment.