View this email in a browser

UTA Office of the President - Jennifer Cowley, Ph.D.



Aug. 25, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Congratulations! Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed planning each of you put into ensuring we had a successful launch of the fall semester and our new academic year. Our campus is energized with the arrival of so many of our students back on campus and eager for our support in fulfilling their dreams.

Today, I am writing to share an update with you on the outcomes of recent leadership searches and changes in our organizational structure that have come from my ongoing conversations with our University community.  

Senior Leadership Selections

Since my last update, we have made progress on selecting additional members of the senior leadership team.

First, I’m excited to share with you that John Davidson, current member of the Maverick family and proven financial leader, was selected to be UTA’s vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer (CFO). With more than 20 years in government and higher education finance leadership positions, John stood out as the right candidate for this role in a comprehensive and competitive search process. He earned both an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Louisiana Tech University.

John has been with UTA as our associate vice president for budgets, planning, and analysis for seven years. In February of this year, he took on the additional responsibilities of interim CFO—a demonstration of his commitment to the prosperity of our University. UTA has ambitious and forward-looking goals, and we have to develop resource strategies and infrastructure plans that set us up to achieve them. John has the institutional knowledge, professional experience, and strategic focus necessary to lead this effort and be a key leader in helping UTA be one of the nation’s most inclusive and impactful research universities.

Additionally, I am delighted to announce that Yolanda Bevill has been selected as our new vice president for marketing, messaging, and engagement, effective Oct. 3. As a senior member of my leadership team, Yolanda will lead the central communications and marketing team and collaborate with leaders across campus to elevate UTA’s unique profile and promote our numerous achievements and accolades to diverse audiences.

Yolanda has more than 25 years of marketing and communications experience, most recently serving as vice president for marketing and communications at Colorado State University (CSU).  While there, she led an award-winning team of professional communicators, creatives, and marketing professionals. Prior to joining CSU, Yolanda was chief communications officer and assistant to the president at Prairie View A&M University and has served in a range of roles in local and federal government.

Yolanda earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Syracuse University and her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law.  

UTA has so many great stories to tell, and Yolanda will lead our team in ensuring these stories are engaging the communities we serve. She will also be helping to enhance our visual identity, along with something that has been on many of our wish lists—making sure Maverick merchandise is visible and available. Yolanda’s diverse professional experience, strategic focus, and creative foresight will help UTA to tell the story of how we are becoming one of the nation’s most inclusive and impactful research universities. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy

Since becoming president, I have heard from our University community that we need to better integrate the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into our strategic efforts and day-to-day operations. As a result, we are working to create a more holistic position to deepen our DEI impact across our campus and programs.

The scope of this position is still being considered, and I look forward to dialogue with the University community to define the focus, scope, and areas of responsibility for this office. In the interim, Eunice Currie has agreed to serve as the acting vice president for DEI while we engage in this dialogue, replacing Bryan Samuel. I thank Dr. Samuel for his service to UTA.

I will soon be meeting with our Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which includes diverse representation from student government, faculty, and staff, to gain their insights on opportunities to deepen the impact of our work in DEI and how we can ensure we are providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for every member of our community. This committee, along with other key stakeholder groups, will be critical partners in the coming weeks in defining our direction. In addition, every member of the University community is encouraged to provide their thoughts and perspectives on how UTA can be transformed if we take a holistic approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion via the online DEI feedback form on the DEI website. While we work collaboratively to better integrate DEI strategies and operations, we will continue to remain focused on our eight specific commitments to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at UTA.

Leadership Organizational Structure

To continue the positive momentum into the new academic year, I have made a series of changes to our organizational structure. The design of our organizational structure going forward will be centered on strategy—creating an organizational structure that will best support the advancement of our mission and strategic direction. This approach creates collaborative teams that can bring strategic focus to institutional priorities.

The new reporting line adjustments are outlined below and have been structured to better align positions and departments and their relevant functions with our five strategic themes:

  • VP Enrollment Management, reporting to the Provost and Sr. VP of Academic Affairs
  • VP Student Affairs, reporting to the Provost and Sr. VP of Academic Affairs
  • VP Global Education, Outreach, and Extended Studies, reporting to the Provost and Sr. VP of Academic Affairs
  • Chief Audit Executive, reporting to the Chief of Staff and VP of Planning
  • Chief Legal Officer, reporting to the Chief of Staff and VP of Planning
  • Chief Information Officer, reporting to the CFO and VP of Business and Finance
  • Chief Information Security Officer, reporting to the CFO and VP of Business and Finance
  • Chief Analytics Officer, reporting to the CFO and VP of Business and Finance

Additionally, the VP for Administration and Campus Operations will be re-titled VP for Administration and Economic Development.

I am confident the totality of these changes will further enable us to advance our strategic thematic areas, improve our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and further our mission as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution.

Let me express again how appreciative I am of the insights and recommendations that many of you have shared with me. I look forward to continuing these important conversations this semester.


Jennifer Cowley, Ph.D.




Office of the President701 S. Nedderman Dr.  • Arlington, Texas 76019 • 817-272-2101 (voice) • 817-272-5656 (fax)

Follow on Twitter