Michael R. Williams appointed to replace university system chancellor – North Texas Daily
Fort Worth Health Sciences Center President Dr Michael R. Williams has been named the next UNT System Chancellor, replacing Lesa Roe effective January 1.
âIt’s a great opportunity to be a part of the leadership of a team,â said Williams. “And [â¦] have the opportunity to see what we can do to help students and their families.
The official announcement was posted on the UNT System website on Monday evening after Williams completed the mandatory 21-day waiting period. Williams has already been named the sole finalist for the post.
âDr. Williams is an accomplished leader and is very familiar with our UNT system as a former student of the UNT Health Sciences Center, former Regent of the UNT System and President of our Health Sciences Center in 2012,â said Roe.
A certified anesthesiologist, Williams also served as CEO of Hill County Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg for five years until 2013. His work in academia did not begin until after his appointment to the board of directors by former Governor Rick Perry. in 2011, where he stayed there for only a year before becoming president of the HSC.
“I enjoyed my time [on the board of regents]”Williams said.” I was there for about 15, 16 months, and it was a chance to see the college system from behind the curtain.
The selection process for the appointment of a new Chancellor is completed by the Board of Regents behind closed doors.
Williams’ rapid selection process disappointed some professors in the UNT system, who felt it was more closed than usual for chancellor appointments as they could not influence the selection or after interviews.
âWe expected a national research company to do the research,â said UNT Dallas Faculty Senate President Jennifer Baggerly. “We waited patiently to be invited to be part of this research committee.”
To Baggerly’s surprise, the invitation never came.
“We asked [UNT Dallas] President [Robert] Mong to let the people forming the search committee know that the faculty senate at UNT Dallas wanted a representative from the faculty, âBaggerly said.
Williams said because of his position as chairman of HSC he was an internal candidate and was considered as a candidate before the board moved to a national search.
“We were disappointed that the faculty senate was not involved in the research or allowed to provide comment before the appointment of the new chancellor,” Baggerly said.
Williams said he was approached four years ago for the chancellor’s post by a national search committee, but declined, choosing to stay at HSC a little longer. When Williams was approached for the job this time without the search committee, he said he believed the choice to focus internally was best for him and other possible candidates.
âWhen you have internal candidates and you really dig into them, it’s not always fair for external candidates to spend time and take risks to apply for a job and leave [someoneâs employer] finding out they thought they were leaving and putting them at risk of losing their own jobs, âWilliams said.
Baggerly said that if the system’s faculty had been allowed to participate in the Chancellor’s search, she and the other faculty senators could have helped final applicants better prepare for the position and focus their programs.
âThe UNT Dallas Faculty Senate was keen to have some interaction and at least provide feedback to the nominee prior to appointment to express our desire for increased shared governance. [â¦]”Baggerly said.” We were disappointed that we didn’t have the opportunity.
Although Baggerly wanted the faculty senate involved, she is still optimistic about Williams’ appointment and said she looks forward to working with him.
âHe seems to be open to contributions from professors,â Baggerly said. “We just look forward to him honoring the importance of faculty as he prepares the curriculum for the university system.” “
Williams said it would take him a few months to adjust to his new role and speak with as many faculty and students as possible to get a full idea of ââwhat he needs to focus on.
“I want to meet the teachers [and] the different senates of the faculties, I would like to meet the staff [and] maybe students, listen and be available to hear their ideas and thoughts, âWilliams said.
Williams HSC website profile praised him on his business skills and ability to nearly triple their reserves, which President Neal Smatresk believes is what regents look for most in a chancellor.
âThe chancellor’s job is to run a system to make sure that the guts of the interoperability functions of universities are working well,â Smatresk said.
Another responsibility of the Chancellor of the System is the ability to hire and fire presidents, which Roe did not do during her four-year tenure.
Smatresk and Mong were hired before Roe by Chancellor Lee F. Jackson, who served from 2002 to 2017. Jackson was also the Chancellor who hired Williams as president of the HSC in 2012.
Overall, Williams is excited to start the new year and spring semester as the new UNT Chancellor.
âI feel very prepared,â said Williams. “I saw it from all angles – the role of the board where we were in charge of the chancellor, until now being president for nine years on one of the campuses and interacting with the other presidents.”
Image source UNTHSC.edu