Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

Vistasp M. Karbhari named finalist for president of The University of Texas at Arlington

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan

News Topics: Arlington, education, faculty, staff

See All News Topics

The University of Texas System Board of Regents has named Vistasp M. Karbhari the sole finalist for the presidency of The University of Texas at Arlington.

Vistasp Karbhari

Vistasp Karbhari

The Board announced Karbhari after interviewing candidates and considering recommendations of an advisory committee that reviewed nominations and applications for the position. The candidates recently met with constituent groups at the university as part of a series of campus visits.

Karbhari is currently the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Prior to his current position he served as professor and vice chairman of the structural engineering department at The University of California-San Diego.  

“Extraordinary leadership is crucial for our institutions and the unique and innovative environment at UT Arlington calls for an effective and visionary leader,” said Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa. “Dr. Karbhari is extremely well suited to lead UT Arlington and I am thrilled to welcome him to the UT System.”

Karbhari received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Poona in India and his Ph.D. from The University of Delaware.

Karbhari is a noted researcher and scholar and a published author or co-author of over 200 scientific papers.

“UT Arlington is one of the nation’s fastest-growing public research universities in our country and the Board is very proud of the institution’s focus on high quality education at affordable prices. Dr. Karbhari’s strong academic record and proven ability to lead are a perfect fit for UT Arlington’s rapid growth while adhering to Chancellor Cigarroa’s Framework for Advancing Excellence,” said Regents Chairman Gene Powell. “We know his experience and perspective will help keep UT Arlington on a path of excellence, accessibility and affordability.”

Under state law, university governing boards must name finalists for a presidency at least 21 days before making an appointment.

“We are very happy with the Board’s decision to name Dr. Karbhari as the next president of UT Arlington,” said Pedro Reyes, Ph.D., UT System’s executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “I would like to express my gratitude to the search committee for their steadfast work in identifying some of the very best in academia for consideration as UT Arlington’s next president.”

Karbhari will succeed President James Spaniolo, who announced last June his intention to step down from the top post once a search for a new president is complete. Spaniolo has served as UT Arlington president since February 2004.

“We extend our congratulations to Dr. Karbhari as the finalist for the presidency of UT Arlington and appreciate the UT System Board of Regents for their excellent choice,” said outgoing President James D. Spaniolo. “I look forward to working closely with the new president to ensure the smoothest transition in the weeks and months ahead.”

During Spaniolo’s tenure, enrollment has grown by 34 percent to more than 33,800 students this spring, making UT Arlington the second largest academic institution in The University of Texas System. Retention and graduation rates have risen, with the University conferring more than 9,000 degrees in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Research activity is also on the rise as UT Arlington has strengthened its expertise in bioengineering, medical diagnostics, drug-delivery systems, information technology, nanotechnology, micro manufacturing, robotics and defense technologies. Research expenditures reached $71.4 million in 2012.

Spaniolo presided over an expansive construction program that saw UT Arlington add a Chemistry & Physics building, the Maverick Activities Center, a major Engineering Research Complex and the 20-acre College Park District, including new student housing and the 7,000-seat College Park Center.

Visit for more information about The University of Texas at Arlington.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2012 enrollment of roughly 216,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state’s health care professionals annually. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $13.9 billion (FY 2013) including $3.1 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.