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.