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Vistasp Karbhari takes helm as eighth president of The University of Texas at Arlington

Saturday, June 1, 2013

News Topics: Arlington, education, faculty

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Vistasp Karbhari, the former provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Alabama in Huntsville and a renowned engineer and researcher in composite materials and structural engineering, begins his tenure today as the eighth president of The University of Texas at Arlington.

Vistasp Karbhari

Vistasp Karbhari

Karbhari succeeds James D. Spaniolo and will lead an institution recognized for its world-class research program, attracting top-tier students and faculty members and garnering international attention for its successful online initiatives and diverse student population.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of President Spaniolo and others, including President Wendell Nedderman, who built this great institution to where it stands today – poised to take the next step toward Tier One status,” Karbhari said. “UT Arlington is a model for the 21st century urban university, a shining example in the areas of educational excellence, delivery, access and translation of research to practice.”

Pedro Reyes, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs for The University of Texas System, said Karbhari will capitalize on UT Arlington’s rapid growth and momentum.

“I am confident under Dr. Karbhari’s leadership UT Arlington will continue to advance its national research goals and excel in academic excellence, taking the university to new heights,” Reyes said.

UT Arlington’s total research expenditures have more than tripled over the past decade to $71.4 million last year, fueled by increasing expertise in engineering, science, nursing and many other areas.

Enrollment is up 35 percent over the past 10 years, with remarkable growth in the College of Nursing, the College of Science, the College of Education and Health Professions and the School of Social Work. UT Arlington is also noted for its College of Business, College of Liberal Arts and its School of Architecture, the only school of its kind in North Texas.

Student achievement continues to climb. About 27 percent of entering freshmen graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and about 70 percent ranked in the top 25 percent of their class.

Student Congress President Varun Mallipaddi said he looks forward to working with President Karbhari in the coming year.

“We are getting a proven researcher who is well versed in academia with a vision of progressing all aspects of UT Arlington, which will greatly benefit all Mavericks, past and present,” said Mallipaddi, a senior College of Business finance major. “Our students are on board with the University’s quest to attain Tier One status, and with our transition to President Karbhari’s leadership, they should be rest assured of our ongoing success.”

Karbhari is a noted researcher and scholar and is a published author or co-author of more than 460 scientific papers in archival journals and conference proceedings. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Poona in India and his doctorate from The University of Delaware, where he served on the faculty of the College of Engineering and as a scientist at the Center for Composite Materials.

In 1995, he joined the University of California, San Diego, one of the top-ranked public research universities in the nation, and served as a professor of structural engineering and of materials science and engineering. He was appointed UA Huntsville provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in 2008.

UA Huntsville, a top-ranked public university, has benefitted from its location near Redstone Arsenal, home to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command and major components of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Missile Defense Agency. The Carnegie Foundation has rated the University as a “very high” research activity institution.

Visit to learn more about President Karbhari.

Karbhari said he is committed to working with UT Arlington faculty, students, staff, alumni and the community to build on North Texas’ assets and industries to see the University achieve prominence in academics and research.

“Together, we will not just continue the journey toward Tier One status, but we will become a world class institution, a preeminent place for intellectual pursuits and a driver of positive change,” Karbhari said.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of nearly 33,800 students and more than 2,200 faculty members. UT Arlington is the second-largest member of the University of Texas System and generated $71.4 million in research expenditures last year, a sum that has tripled over the past decade. UT Arlington has increasing expertise in bioengineering, medical diagnostics, micomanufacturing, and defense and Homeland Security technologies, among other areas. Visit to learn more.


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