James D. Spaniolo announced Monday that he will be stepping down as president of The University of Texas at Arlington.
After more than eight years as president, Spaniolo announced his decision in an email to students, faculty, staff, and alumni titled “Message from the President.”
“After careful thought, I have concluded it is the appropriate time to pass the baton and let others continue the stewardship of our remarkable institution,” said Spaniolo. “It has been the highest honor of my career to have served as your president for the past eight-and-a-half years.”
Spaniolo, 66, began his term as UTA’s seventh president in February 2004. He will continue to serve until the UT System Board of Regents finds a successor.
In a press release, UTA officials said Spaniolo made vast improvements to UT Arlington, both internally and externally.
“Spaniolo’s administration is widely credited for dramatically lifting and improving the profile of the university-boosting enrollment, increasing research expenditures, recruiting new faculty, assembling a strong executive team, strengthening the academic profile, leading the way in online and international education programs, and constructing major new facilities,” UTA officials said in a press release.
"A lot of people are used to this being a commuter school, and with everything he's been able to do for the university community, I feel like I'm staying on campus," UTA student Opemipo Olowoyeye said.
“The UT System is honored to have had President Spaniolo’s leadership for more than eight years,” said Chancellor Francisco Ciggaroa. “I am extremely impressed with the quantum leaps UT Arlington has made under his direction in virtually every area of the institution. He has been a superb and collaborative president, and he has led his university with great integrity, vision, and creativity."
Before taking office at UT Arlington, Spaniolo was a newspaper executive and an attorney for The Miami Herald and Detroit Free Press, vice president and chief program officer for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and dean of Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences.