Gregory L. Fenves

Gregory L. Fenves
29th President of the University of Texas at Austin
Assumed office
June 3, 2015
Preceded by William Powers Jr.
Personal details
Born (1957-03-01) March 1, 1957
Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Residence Austin, Texas
Alma mater Cornell University
University of California, Berkeley
Profession Structural Engineer, Academic
Website Office of the President

Gregory L. Fenves is a structural engineer, professor and college administrator who has served as the twenty-ninth president of the University of Texas at Austin since June 3, 2015.[1][2][3] For his research and teaching, Fenves was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2014, the highest recognition for an engineer in the United States.[4] He holds the Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering #15 and the Ed and Carolyn Hyman Presidential Leadership Chair at UT Austin.[1]

Early life and career

Fenves was educated at Cornell University where he received a bachelor's degree (B.S.) in engineering with distinction in 1979 and was a member of the Quill and Dagger society.[5] He went on to earn a master's degree (M.S.E.) in 1980 and a Ph.D. in 1984 from the University of California, Berkeley.

He began his career as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at UT Austin from 1984 to 1987. He was on the faculty of UC Berkeley for more than 20 years and served as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 2002 to 2007.

He is an internationally recognized structural engineer and led the development of one of the most widely used open-source software platforms in the civil engineering profession. He was one of the pioneers in developing wireless sensor networks for assessing the structural health of buildings, bridges and infrastructure and has focused his research on the simulation of structures subjected to earthquakes. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Prior to his role as executive vice president and provost of UT Austin from 2013 to 2015, he was appointed as the eighth dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin in 2008 and served in that capacity for five years. In 2015, he was selected as the 29th president of the university.

President of The University of Texas at Austin

As president, Fenves has prioritized student success. In 2017, UT Austin posted the highest four-year graduation rates in the university's history.[6] His administration has strengthened the impact of longstanding research efforts while investing in groundbreaking new programs and facilities, including the Dell Medical School, which welcomed its first class in 2016 and is central to the university’s efforts to transform health education and health care delivery.[7]

In 2015, his administration successfully defended UT Austin’s admissions practices before the US Supreme Court.[8] The landmark ruling in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case enabled UT Austin to continue affirmative action policies in admission targeted at increasing diversity at the university.

In October 2017, Fenves and UT Austin were awarded Holocaust Museum Houston's Guardian of the Human Spirit award, recognizing a shared commitment to service and leadership that fosters an open-minded society.[9] At the celebratory luncheon, Fenves delivered a 25-minute speech, recounting his father's story of survival during the Holocaust.[10]

In 2018, Fenves and wife Carmel will reimburse the University $27,000 after an audit found they violated the schools travel policy backline premium class rather than economy on about 50 flights .


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