Jan. 26, 2016
Dear faculty, staff and students:
I am pleased to write you today with an announcement that after an extensive national search, Mr. Darrell Bazzell will join UT Austin as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Currently the vice chancellor for finance and administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Darrell has approximately 13 years of experience as CFO at a top-ranked flagship public university and 31 years in state government. His appointment at UT is effective April 18.
Through the search process, I saw that Darrell has a strong record of working collaboratively with the provost and deans and across the UW-Madison campus. He has extensive experience in Wisconsin state agencies and working with its state legislature. Prior to joining UW-Madison, Darrell held several policy and budget analyst roles in state government and was the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from 2001 to 2003. Since 2003, he has stewarded UW-Madison through several state budget-writing processes and efforts to promote strong campus services and efficiencies. Darrell worked with leadership and the campus to develop and implement new financial models, and he oversaw budgeting and financing for UW-Madison's medical school and academic medical center.
Darrell's accomplishments go beyond his expertise in finance. At UW-Madison, he championed the First Wave initiative. The initiative was the first university program of its kind in the country, centered on urban arts, spoken word and hip-hop culture to inspire engagement, learning and activism for diverse communities. Darrell is a strong community leader, having served as president of numerous service organizations, and he is currently a Big Brother and on the board of the local United Way chapter.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984 with a degree in sociology, and living in Austin will bring him closer to family in Houston. Darrell already has one Longhorn in the family: His nephew recently graduated from UT.
I would like to thank Mary Knight for serving as interim CFO since February 2015, and leading the CFO portfolio in an admirable manner through important transitions for UT. Finally, I am grateful to Dr. Gregory Vincent for chairing the search committee and to all its members for helping with this important search.
With the recent announcement of Dr. Maurie McInnis as executive vice president and provost and today's announcement of Darrell Bazzell, I am excited to bring in senior executives from top-ranked public research universities with new ideas that will enable UT to pursue excellence with effectiveness and efficiency. Please join me in welcoming Darrell Bazzell to The University of Texas at Austin.
Gregory L. Fenves