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Vistasp Kharbari to be next president of University of Texas at Arlington

Poona-educated Kharbari is a noted scholar.

Bureau Report

NEW YORK: There is going to be yet another addition to the number of high profile Indian American academic administrators on US campuses: 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. degree from The University of Delaware. He is a noted researcher and scholar and a published author or co-author of over 200 scientific papers.

His research interests include the mechanics and manufacturing science of composites, infrastructure rehabilitation, the durability of composites and polymers. He is the author/co-author of over 200 papers in refereed journal publications, over 260 papers in conference proceedings and has edited four books. Karbhari has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on more than $38 million in externally funded research projects at the University of Alabama. He serves on the editorial board of a number of journals and has received various honors and awards including being inducted as a fellow of IIFC, and ASM International.

“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 UTA’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 replace President James Spaniolo, who announced last June his intention to step down from the top post once his successor is in place.

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. It 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, it is one of the largest employers in the state.

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