August 8, 2018
Dear Faculty and Staff,
After serving our university for more than 45 years, Patti Ohlendorf has informed me that she plans to retire from The University of Texas at Austin. Her last day as vice president for legal affairs will be Aug. 31, although she has agreed to continue serving in an advisory role through the end of 2018.
Patti earned her bachelor’s and law degrees from UT, and her contributions to her alma mater have been immeasurable. She began working for the university while still a student. After graduating, she began her career in the Academic Affairs division, including as a vice provost and counsel to the president, before being appointed a vice president in 1998.
During the past 20 years, Patti built a strong Legal Affairs team and had a crucial role in transformative campus-wide initiatives such as establishing the Dell Medical School. She has been a leader in many local and national organizations and served on the AAU’s General Counsel Committee and NCAA boards, including the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee.
For me, one of her most significant accomplishments was leading the university’s successful, eight-year-long legal defense of our holistic admissions policies and the educational benefits of diversity. Patti prepared our outside counsel for two appearances before the United States Supreme Court and was in the courtroom as those historic oral arguments were made.
Many of you have worked directly with Patti, know her well and have seen her contributions to UT over decades. Please join me in wishing the best to her and her family after her retirement from the university.
I expect to announce soon an interim vice president and to conduct a search to fill this crucial position for the university.
Gregory L. Fenves
The University of Texas at Austin