David Prior, who for nearly five years has served as one of Texas A&M's top administrators, will be leaving Aggieland to serve the University of Texas System.
In a memo released Tuesday, Interim University President Eddie Davis announced Prior's departure.
"I'm saddened because we are losing a valued member of the Texas A&M family," Davis wrote. "Still, we should be heartened to know that an educator and administrator of his caliber will continue to add tremendous value to higher education in the State of Texas.
Prior will serve as the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs in the UT System.
According to his biography, Prior arrived at A&M in 1996 as a professor of geology and geophysics, geography, and oceanography. He also served as deputy dean of geosciences and maritime studies before being named as the interim executive vice president and provost in August 2002. It's a role he took on permanently in April 2003.
A university provost serves as the chief operating and chief academic advisor, responsible for all aspects of the university's academic mission. The office also frequently communicates with other entities, including the Board of Regents and state education boards and agencies.
The following is the statement from Interim University President Eddie Davis on Prior's departure:
It is with mixed emotions that I inform you that Dr. David B. Prior, who has served effectively as our Executive Vice President and Provost for almost five years, has accepted the position as Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Texas System, effective June 15.
I am happy for Dr. Prior because this is a tremendous opportunity for him--an opportunity for him to lend his unique talents as a collaborator and facilitator to this highly important position. I'm saddened because we are losing a valued member of the Texas A&M family. Still, we should be heartened to know that an educator and administrator of his caliber will continue to add tremendous value to higher education in the State of Texas.
In his new role, Dr. Prior will serve as the primary academic administrator for the nine institutions in the University of Texas System.
While his specific contributions to Texas A&M are too numerous to detail, I would be remiss not to mention a few of his many significant accomplishments. Dr. Prior worked closely with former President Robert M. Gates to plan and implement one of the largest faculty reinvestment and infrastructure growth initiatives in the history of our university. In addition, his diligent efforts to establish a branch campus in Qatar and to re-energize our world-renowned Ocean Drilling Program--now known as the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program--are also particularly noteworthy.
We cannot replace Dr. Prior's rare blend of talents, but we can certainly thank him for his distinguished record of service and commitment to Texas A&M -- to our students, faculty and staff -- and wish him all the best in his new position.
Dr. Prior and I will work together in the coming weeks to establish a list of priorities and responsibilities going forward -- and to discuss attributes for his successor.
I hope to announce a comprehensive transition plan within the next month. I am committed to maintaining a "best in class" management team for Texas A&M and look forward to the challenge.