Gregory Vincent leaves lasting mark on University

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Photo Credit: Tess Cagle | Daily Texan Staff

Gregory Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, will leave the University in August to serve as the president of his alma mater, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York state. Vincent made the announcement April 20. 

“It’s an enviable position. (The college has) strong finances, a really strong mission, a great relationship with the community (and a) great alumni base,” Vincent said. “I’m not looking forward to the winter, but you can’t have everything.”

Vincent said the position is a great opportunity because he sees a bright future for Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

“First, I was honored they selected me,” Vincent said. “It’s a great school and my alma mater ... and President (Mark) Gearan has done a great job over the last eighteen years, and it was a wonderful opportunity to build on that foundation.”

Vincent said the biggest adjustment from UT to Hobart and William Smith Colleges will be moving to a smaller institution.

“(I’m) going from a school of 50,000 to a school of about 2,300,” Vincent said. “I grew up in New York City, but being back in New York state, there are some interesting challenges.”

These challenges include working around new state legislation for free tuition at public schools and trying to increase the institution’s endowment.

In 2014, Hobart and William Smith colleges made national news for complications with Title IX, and Vincent said he has zero tolerance for that kind of behavior.

“You have to have the education for your students and staff and faculty beforehand and have processes in place to make sure those things don’t happen,” Vincent said. “When they do happen, you have to have a comprehensive, fair investigative process so you can ... use your disciplinary procedures to address it.”

Gregory Perrin, associate vice president for development for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, said Vincent has brought the University closer to the Austin community, specifically with the east side of Austin.

“He has been the driving force over the past decade in building and mending relationships with those communities, and that’s part of the purpose of the DDCE,” Perrin said. “He (also) has been instrumental in practically every major African American faculty member being hired over the past decade (and) drawing in phenomenal graduate students of all races.”

Perrin said thanks to Vincent’s presence, graduate students know they will be accepted and respected at UT.

“I think I knew this was coming sooner or later,” Perrin said. “He’s a phenomenal leader, but initially it’s just we’ll miss him.”

Laura Herrera, communication sciences and disorders senior and former DDCE student staff member, said she met Vincent in 2013 and he has been a kind, welcoming presence ever since.

“He’s a great role model and representative of what the community of UT really means,” Herrera said. “He was just one of those faces people were excited to know and to get to talk to.”