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Leading the Climb to Unsurpassed Heights

Highly skilled and dedicated administrators chart the course for UT Arlington's journey to become a major national research institution. The University continues to attract a forward-thinking leadership team with a singular focus on achieving our mission.


As UT Arlington's new provost and vice president for academic affairs, Ronald L. Elsenbaumer looks forward to advancing the University's Tier One objectives.

Dr. Elsenbaumer began the position in fall 2011 after most recently serving as UT Arlington's vice president for research and federal relations. In that capacity, he played a significant role in strengthening the University's research profile, particularly in science, engineering, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

"We could not ask for a more dedicated, more skillful leader to help guide UT Arlington as it becomes a major national research institution," President James D. Spaniolo says.

An educator for more than 30 years, Elsenbaumer's research interests include electrically conductive polymers and environmentally friendly lubricant additives. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications, holds 42 U.S. patents, and has secured millions of dollars in external research funding.

He earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Purdue University and his doctorate in chemistry from Stanford University. He worked in the private sector for Allied-Signal before joining UT Arlington in 1991 as chairman and director of the Materials Science and Engineering Department. He also has served as chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, as director of UT Arlington's Nanotechnology Research and Teaching Facility, and as interim provost in 2007-08.

Ronald L. Elsenbaumer


Jean-Pierre Bardet believes now is the time to build a world-class engineering college with vibrant research and educational programs that will invigorate the economy and improve the quality of life in North Texas and beyond.

Dr. Bardet, the new dean of the College of Engineering, most recently was chair of the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California.

"I am thrilled and honored to be given the opportunity to work with faculty, students, staff, and alumni across the University to achieve great things," he says.

Bardet studied at Ecole Centrale in France and earned his master's and doctoral degrees from the California Institute of Technology. A member of the USC faculty since 1983, he chaired the civil and environmental engineering department for five years.

"We know that Dr. Bardet's professional accomplishments and his enthusiasm for education and innovation will help propel the University's drive to become a major national research institution," President James D. Spaniolo says.

Bardet's professional interests include civil infrastructure systems, earthquake research, geomechanics, and synthetic horse racing surfaces. He founded and directed USC's Center on Megacities, a multidisciplinary research center that promotes innovation to prepare and sustain the world's largest cities.

Jean-Pierre Bardet


Kelly Davis is a homegrown administrator. The new vice president for business affairs and controller earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from the UT Arlington College of Business in 1984.

After stints in a variety of accounting jobs, she decided to come home to UT Arlington in 1997 as assistant director of accounting. She most recently served as assistant vice president for academic financial affairs in the Office of the Provost.

Appointed vice president in July 2011, Davis is responsible for everything related to finance and accounting, including budget development, procurement, payroll, financial reporting, student financial services, and asset management. It's a challenging job these days as funding for higher education has become more complicated and competitive.

"The tough economy is not sparing higher education," she says. "State funding is shrinking, and we compete with more and more agencies for those dollars."

A certified public accountant, Davis believes the Office of Business Affairs and Controller will play a key role in advancing the University's Tier One mission by facing financial hurdles with strategic-resource management, streamlined processes, and cost-saving measures.

After 14 years and endless changes and challenges, she adds, "I love my job."

Kelly Davis


Maurice Leatherbury's road to becoming vice president for information technology started in the library.

With degrees in library science, he has worked not only among books, but also in software development, combining the two in higher education. As the University's chief information officer, he manages the Office of Information Technology, which oversees the campus' centralized computing and telecommunications services, the Arlington Regional Data Center, and the UT System's shared systems.

Dr. Leatherbury, who became vice president in July 2011, says his background as a librarian and faculty member gives him a deep commitment to customer service.

"I have a very strong appreciation for and understanding of the mission, goals, and mindset of the faculty, who are at the heart of a research university," he says.

Prior to coming to UT Arlington, Leatherbury worked at the University of North Texas for 15 years, the last five as the institution's chief information officer. He also spent 13 years as president of the MetaMicro Library Systems Inc. software company, where he developed applications for libraries.

He has served as chair of the board of directors for the Lonestar Education and Research Network and as chair of the North Texas Gigapop Management Council. He earned his doctorate in library and information science at UT Austin.

Maurice Leatherbury

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