UT Vice Chancellor of Research and Engagement Taylor Eighmy has announced plans to leave UT on August 31 to become president of the University of Texas at San Antonio, whose board approved the hire Tuesday.
“Taylor Eighmy is a talented administrator, respected scholar, and national leader in higher education policy,” said Chancellor Beverly Davenport. “The University of Texas at San Antonio is very fortunate to have landed such a great president. Taylor has been a trusted advisor and key member of my senior leadership team, and he has been invaluable to our partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“He will be greatly missed at Tennessee.”
After coming to UT as vice chancellor in 2012, Eighmy has overseen several notable accomplishments, none bigger in scope and visibility than The Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
IACMI—The Composites Institute was founded in 2015 with $250 million in backing and with UT as its lead institution and involved close collaboration with ORNL. It now covers partner universities, laboratories, and businesses across 37 states. Its goal is expanding research into and production of advanced materials, an area that has grown in importance to UT during Eighmy’s tenure.
Eighmy collaborated with Stacey Patterson, UT System interim vice president for research, outreach, and economic development to create the Office of Corporate and Foundation Engagement, which matches corporations, foundations, and industry leaders with UT expertise in an effort to establish strategic partnerships, further interdisciplinary research and strengthen economic development opportunities.
His passion for undergraduate research led him to formally establish the university’s Office of Undergraduate Research. Since the launch of the office, participation in undergraduate research and creative activity has more than doubled.
His position on the UT-Battelle Liaison Committee to ORNL helped strengthen the partnership between the two institutions. Additionally, he served on the boards of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Collaborative Composites Solutions, East Tennessee Economic Council, the UT Research Foundation, and the Cherokee Farm Development Corp.
Eighmy has also played key roles in furthering collaborations with ORNL in advanced manufacturing, the ongoing success of neutron sciences through the Shull Wollan Center, and helping UT earn the Carnegie Community Engaged designation.
Eighmy said leaving UT will be bittersweet.
“I look back on all the progress that has been made here by our faculty, staff, and students, I look at our relationship with ORNL and with the local and state organizations interested in economic development, and I see nothing but positives,” said Eighmy. “The university is on an upward trajectory and has such a bright future. I wish Chancellor Davenport, her cabinet, and the entire discovery enterprise the very best of luck.”
Before coming to UT, Eighmy served in research leadership capacities at Texas Tech University and the University of New Hampshire.
Davenport is in the process of appointing interim leadership and plans to begin a national search immediately. A search committee will be named in the next few weeks.