The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

University provost steps down, effective immediately

University provost steps down, effective immediately - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Headshot of Mike O’Brien, former Texas A&M University-San Antonio provost and vice president for academic affairs. Photo from Texas A&M University-San Antonio Flickr.

Mike O’Brien, Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, has left his post, according to a Dec. 9 email from President Cynthia Teniente-Matson addressed to university faculty and staff. 

Matson wrote O’Brien is stepping down “effective immediately,” and following a short sabbatical, will stay on as faculty. 

“I am grateful for Mike’s work over the past five and a half years as he led our efforts to pursue excellence in all areas of the academic mission during a time of immense and rapid change for the University,” Matson wrote.

According to Matson’s announcement, an interim provost will be appointed and she assured faculty and staff that the university will share those details as soon as available.

In the email, Matson also referred to recent local reporting on the university’s budget deficit, where faculty expressed concern about the university’s financial standing. 

A Zoom video recording of a faculty town hall held Nov. 22 aired on local news channels last week, where O’Brien told faculty the financial shortfall was caused by mistakes in the budgeting process. 

The Mesquite called O’Brien’s office Dec. 9 to request an interview. An assistant directed the request to Jeanette De Diemar, vice president for advancement and external relations.

During a phone interview Dec. 10, De Diemar said she could only confirm the info that was shared in the President’s email.

In a Dec. 9 email to faculty, O’Brien wrote, “I wanted to let you know that I’ve decided to step down as vice president and provost of academic affairs. I also wanted to let you know that I could not be prouder of the work we accomplished together during the past five and half years. I especially have appreciated the opportunity to work alongside President Matson and my cabinet colleagues as we navigated through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. Thanks for all the support and insight you’ve given me over the years. I very much appreciate it.”

The university had already launched a provost search after a September announcement O’Brien would move into a new position as the inaugural Senior Vice President for Research and Health Science, a joint appointment to the A&M Health Science Center.

It is unclear if O’Brien will assume this role following the news of his departure. 

About the Author

Denise Treviño
Assistant Editor
Denise Treviño is a senior communications major at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Born and raised in the Alamo City, she has always aspired to make a difference in her community. She hopes to grow her storytelling skills and delve deeper into the world of multimedia journalism through her current work at university. After graduation, she looks forward to pursuing a career that allows her to tell stories that will inspire as well as entertain. In her free time, you will find her watching and analyzing British detective shows on the couch with her dogs Ransom and Dougie, strumming a ukulele or out on a hike with family and friends.

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