Chancellor William H. McRaven announced on May 6 the hiring of two respected leaders to fill pivotal roles for The University of Texas System. McRaven said these new team members will be critically important in his mission to make the UT System and the state of Texas the world’s center of excellence in higher education.

Cockrell School of Engineering alumnus and former professor David E. Daniel, Ph.D., will move from his post as president of UT Dallas to become McRaven’s right-hand man beginning July 1, carrying out the chancellor’s vision for UT in the new role of deputy chancellor and chief operating officer. Daniel will assist McRaven in the implementation of the UT System’s major goals and will handle a number of the daily operational aspects of the organization.

Steven Leslie, Ph.D., will become UT System’s chief academic leader as executive vice chancellor for academic affairs beginning May 11. Leslie is succeeding Pedro Reyes, Ph.D., who announced in April that he will return fulltime to teaching and research. Currently a professor and researcher in UT Austin’s College of Pharmacy, Leslie served as provost and executive vice president of UT Austin from 2007 until 2013.

“David Daniel possesses skills that are transferable across the system in managing and leading people, operations, new construction and technology. He is a respected voice on the needs and benefits of higher education to the state of Texas, and he has demonstrated that he knows how to propel an institution forward on a magnificent trajectory,” McRaven said. “Everything he has done as president of UT Dallas prepares him for this new role, and now the entire UT System will be a beneficiary of his leadership.”

Daniel received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and served on the faculty at UT Austin from 1980 to 1996. In 1996, he moved to the University of Illinois, finishing his service as dean of the College of Engineering before being appointed UT Dallas' president in 2005.

“I am excited about this new opportunity,” Daniel said. “Chancellor McRaven is an extraordinary leader who is deeply committed to addressing the most significant challenges facing higher education. The institutions that comprise the UT System – led by our Board of Regents, Chancellor McRaven and the presidents of our institutions – are in an ideal position to be leaders in developing solutions. I look forward to becoming part of the team that will tackle these challenges at a system- and state-wide level.”

Read the full UT System announcement »