Focused on the Future
Next president says UT Arlington must continue shaping a new model for excellence.
Vistasp M. Karbhari believes UT Arlington possesses unique strengths that will provide opportunities to scale new heights. He’ll begin leading the climb June 1 when he becomes the University’s eighth president.
“UT Arlington stands poised to take the next step toward Tier One status and, more importantly, toward being a model 21st-century urban university.”
“UT Arlington stands poised to take the next step toward Tier One status and, more importantly, toward being a model 21st-century urban university, a shining example for others to follow,” Dr. Karbhari says.
After a national search, the UT System Board of Regents named Karbhari the sole presidential finalist in February and officially appointed him president in March. He will succeed James D. Spaniolo, who has served as UT Arlington’s president since February 2004.
Karbhari is currently the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In that role, he helped increase sponsored research expenditures, established a student success center, and oversaw the addition of more than a dozen academic programs. Previously he served as professor and vice chairman of the Structural Engineering Department at the University of California, San Diego.
A noted researcher and scholar, Karbhari is an expert in the processing and mechanics of composites and has authored or co-authored more than 460 papers in journals and conference proceedings and edited or co-edited four books. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Poona in India and his Ph.D. at the University of Delaware.
“Extraordinary leadership is crucial for our institutions, and the innovative environment at UT Arlington calls for an effective and visionary leader,” UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa says. “Dr. Karbhari is extremely well suited to lead UT Arlington.”
During a two-day campus visit in February, Karbhari and his wife, Lisa, met with senior administrators, deans, faculty, staff, student leaders, alumni, and community members. The visit, the first of several this spring, included a town hall meeting in which he praised the University’s research and teaching excellence.
“UT Arlington has a strong and compelling story, one that needs to be communicated far and wide. It’s a story that I’m not only anxious to tell but to continue nurturing and building,” he says. “Together we will become a world-class institution, a preeminent place for intellectual pursuits, and a driver of positive change.”