Oct. 6, 2015
Dear UT Community,
I am pleased to announce that Dr. Daniel Jaffe has accepted my offer to become UT's vice president for research. He will begin his appointment January 16, 2016.
Dr. Jaffe has been a distinguished member of UT Austin's College of Natural Sciences faculty since 1986 and is the immediate past chair of the Department of Astronomy. His experience as a UT leader for the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile, as well as serving on the board of the Gemini Observatory, twin telescopes located in Hawaii and Chile, demonstrates his skills as a team builder, fundraiser and collaborator with research sponsors. I am confident in Dr. Jaffe's abilities to take on ambitious goals for our research mission.
As I discussed in my State of the University address, expanding our research capabilities and pursuing many opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration across the campus is a high priority. With the opening of the Dell Medical School, as well as many other developments in our colleges, schools and research units, UT is poised to take a significant step forward in increasing the impact of the research by faculty, students and research scientists. Dr. Jaffe is especially eager to work with all faculty to create a campus-wide culture of innovation and strong support for the research enterprise. Additionally, as I mentioned in the speech, I look forward to the launch of a task force to identify strategic research priorities and assess the emerging landscape of state, national and global drivers.
Dr. Jaffe's own research, which he will continue, focuses on the formation of stars and planetary systems. He is principal investigator for a high-resolution near-infrared spectrometer at McDonald Observatory, as well as for a high-resolution spectrometer for the Giant Magellan Telescope.
Dr. Jaffe earned three degrees from Harvard and was a research scientist at the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley before coming to UT. Not only has he been a champion for research, he received a Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Natural Sciences.
I want to thank the search committee and especially the chair, Dr. Jayathi Murthy, for presenting me with a slate of outstanding finalists for this position and serving the university in such an important way.
As I mentioned earlier in the year, I am grateful to Dr. Juan Sanchez for his 16 years of dedicated service as vice president of research. We all owe Dr. Sanchez our gratitude for his contributions to the campus.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Jaffe in his new role at UT.
Gregory L. Fenves, President