McRaven Taps Daniel as Deputy Chancellor

UT System Announcement:

Chancellor William H. McRaven today announced the hiring of two respected leaders to fill pivotal roles for The University of Texas System. McRaven said these new team members will be critically important in his mission to make the UT System and the state of Texas the world’s center of excellence in higher education.

David E. Daniel, Ph.D., will move from his post as president of UT Dallas to become McRaven’s right-hand man beginning July 1, carrying out the chancellor’s vision for UT in the new role of deputy chancellor. Daniel will assist McRaven in the implementation of the UT System’s major goals and will handle a number of the daily operational aspects of the organization. Steven Leslie, Ph.D. will become UT System’s chief academic leader as executive vice chancellor for academic affairs beginning May 11. read full announcement


President David E. Daniel

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Today, the University of Texas System announced that I will take on a new role as Deputy Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer of the UT System, effective July 1. Dr. Hobson Wildenthal will become Interim President beginning July 1. Within a few weeks, a search committee to recommend candidates for the new President of UT Dallas will be appointed.

As Deputy Chancellor, I will be the second-highest ranking administrator in the UT System and will assist in formulation and implementation of the UT System’s major goals. As Chief Operating Officer, I will be responsible for personnel and daily functioning of the UT System Administration.

As I have come to know Chancellor William McRaven better, I am increasingly excited about this new opportunity. Chancellor McRaven is an extraordinary leader who is deeply committed to addressing the most significant challenges facing higher education. I believe that my experience can be helpful as we address issues such as improving student success, making important research discoveries, improving the health of Texans, and positively impacting our students and our state. The institutions that comprise the UT System — led by our Board of Regents, Chancellor McRaven, and the Presidents of our institutions — are in an ideal position to be leaders in developing solutions. I look forward to becoming part of the team that will tackle these critical challenges at a System- and state-wide level.

Please know that this isn’t a goodbye. I will return to campus frequently and will relish the opportunity to visit old friends, make new ones, witness continuing progress toward achieving status as a Tier One research university, and work closely with the leadership of all the UT System institutions, including UT Dallas, to help realize goals.

I will be leaving the Office of the President at UTD in very capable hands. Dr. Hobson Wildenthal is a highly accomplished leader who has been instrumental in building academic excellence at UTD for more than two decades. He will no doubt sustain and even increase our momentum in the months ahead.

Any change in leadership creates uncertainty. But UT Dallas is in an excellent position to attract a superb President. The position represents one of the most exciting higher-education leadership opportunities in the nation. I am confident that exceptional candidates will be identified who can lead UT Dallas to outstanding achievements. I look forward to advising on the search process at the UT System level.

I express heartfelt appreciation to the extraordinary students, staff, faculty, leadership, benefactors, and supporters of UTD for a decade of friendship, collaboration, and shared accomplishment. It’s been pure joy for me. Just the mention of UTD brings a smile, and a strong sense of gratitude for the honor and privilege of working with the UTD family for the past 10 years.

With appreciation,

David E. Daniel

David E. Daniel

Dr. Hobson Wildenthal to Serve as Interim President

Statement from Dr. Wildenthal:

"I sincerely appreciate being asked by Chancellor McRaven to take interim leadership responsibility for UT Dallas. It is an honor and a challenge that I will strive to meet successfully.

"Our university has made truly impressive advances during David Daniel’s presidency and we look forward to sustaining our current momentum. It is a privilege to work with our distinguished faculty and dedicated staff, with our community supporters, and with our student body that is marked both by its academic excellence and its tremendous spirit of pride and loyalty.

"Together, we will strive to ascend toward the highest echelons of learning and discovery."

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Reactions to Announcement

From Texas Instruments

“There is no doubt in my mind that our TI Founders, who were also the founders of UT Dallas, would be very proud of David and all that has been accomplished under his leadership. He raised the bar on academic excellence and has made UTD the economic engine they long ago dreamed of. David shares with our founders, and with many others in North Texas, a great passion for innovation that will move technology forward.” Rich Templeton,chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments 

From a Dallas Morning News editorial

"Daniel’s blueprint for the university has been executed with the precision reflecting his engineering background. In his decade at the Richardson university, UTD has been transformed." 

From Facebook

“UT Dallas’ loss is the UT System's gain. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Michigan at the NCAA tournament. Great man, and I'm sure he will be missed in Dallas.”Sandra Conklin Steele

“Dr. Daniel started at UTD as I was starting my college career. His impact changed the campus during my time there and cannot be overstated.”Christian Damewood

“He is SOO good for UTD! I hope that UTD will continue to grow and succeed. ... We will miss you Dr. Daniel!”Antonia Okafor

“Congrats to Dr. Daniel. His vision and leadership indeed transformed UTD.”Manish Nair

“You will be sorely missed Dr. Daniel! Thanks for your vision and leadership.”Molly Jean Vaughan

“Dr. Daniel has been fantastic for UTD!”Matt Johns

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].