The University of Texas System Board of Regents has named Dr. Vistasp M. Karbhari president of The University of Texas at Arlington effective June 1. With this appointment, Karbhari has become a member of the select but growing circle of Indian Americans heading American educational institutions.
The Board unanimously approved the appointment at a specially-called board meeting March 12.
Karbhari was named the lone finalist for the position at a Board of Regents meeting last month (I-W, Mar. 1).
Karbhari will succeed president James D. Spaniolo, who announced last June his intention to step down from the top post once his successor is in place.
“We are fortunate to have a leader of Dr. Karbhari’s caliber take over the reins of UT Arlington, and we know he is the perfect fit to make sure excellence, accessibility and affordability remain top priorities at UT Arlington,” Regents chairman Gene Powell said. “Dr. Karbhari has impressed us from the moment we met him, and he has our complete confidence.”
Karbhari currently is the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Prior to that, he served as professor and vice chairman of the structural engineering department at The University of California-San Diego.
“UT Arlington is an incredible institution, and I am committed to advancing UT Arlington toward Tier One status, while maintaining and strengthening excellence in both research and education and ensuring the success of our undergraduate and graduate students,” Karbhari said. “I am honored by the Board’s decision to name me as president, and I am looking forward to leading this wonderful university and building on the tremendous foundations laid by president Spaniolo.”
Karbhari is a noted researcher and scholar and is a published author or co-author of more than 200 scientific papers. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Poona in India and his doctorate from The University of Delaware.
“Dr. Karbhari’s teaching and administrative experience are extensive, and I have no doubt that he is the right person to lead UT Arlington,” chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa said. “UT Arlington has established a reputation for excellence that will only be strengthened by Dr. Karbhari’s leadership. I’m excited to help welcome him to UT Arlington and the UT System.”
Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, UT Arlington provost and vice president for academic affairs, expressed appreciation to the UT System Board of Regents and members of the presidential search advisory committee who identified and recruited Karbhari.
"UT Arlington students, faculty and staff have positioned our university to reach new heights in academic and research excellence," Elsenbaumer said. "Dr. Karbhari possesses the talent, ability and leadership qualities to guide us on our path toward national prominence, and I personally look forward to helping him in every way I can."