As president of UT Arlington since 2004, James D. Spaniolo has overseen unprecedented growth in enrollment, research activity, and the physical campus.

Passing the Baton

Message from the President

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I recently announced my decision to retire from The University of Texas at Arlington. After serving as president for eight-and-a-half years, it seems like the appropriate time to pass the baton and let others continue the stewardship of our remarkable institution. I am so proud of where the University is today. UT Arlington’s record-setting achievements demonstrate what we have accomplished together. No matter the measure, our institution has made great progress during the past decade.

We enrolled thousands of new students—on campus and online. We invited thousands of students to live on campus and experience a traditional residential environment. We opened new recreational spaces for students and developed robust, 24/7 activities and events to keep them engaged.

We reinvigorated our athletics program and moved it to the next stage, literally, opening up new vistas for competition and achievement. We created new traditions and honored long-established ones. We helped elicit the enormous pride our alumni have always felt for their alma mater.

We built amazing buildings that grace our campus at every turn. We added research laboratories and classrooms. We increased our external research funding by tens of millions of dollars and continue to build a thriving research enterprise that addresses some of society’s most serious issues.

We built a college town from the ground up and helped reinvigorate downtown Arlington. We reached out to the city, our neighbors, and the community—and they embraced us.

Most importantly, we helped tens of thousands of students pursue their dreams. We helped put a college degree not only within their reach but into their hands.

UT Arlington is what it is today because of talented faculty and staff, motivated students, passionate alumni, and dedicated friends and supporters.

Our leadership team—deans, vice presidents, and others—is superb, the best I’ve worked with anywhere. If I have been successful, it is because of our collaborative efforts. It has been a joy to work with such a talented team and to bring attention to their accomplishments. For all the challenges we face, we are fortunate to be part of the finest university system in the country.

UT Arlington is thriving and is well positioned for the future. The transformation we have ignited will guide the way for years to come, and our next president will join a university on track to become a major research institution.

With the concurrence of Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and The UT System Board of Regents, I will continue as president of UT Arlington until a successor is selected.

Meanwhile, we will stay focused on our mission. There is much work to be done, and our continued progress as a university requires our best efforts. In the words of Robert Frost, whom I quoted eight years ago in my investiture address, we “have promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep.”

It has been the highest honor of my career to have served as your president, and I will devote myself in the months ahead to assuring a smooth transition in leadership.

Go Mavericks!

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