University of Michigan

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Kevin Hegarty, UT’s vice president and chief financial officer, will step down from his position to become executive vice president and CFO at the University
of Michigan.

Mary Knight, associate vice president for finance, will serve as interim CFO until Hegarty’s position is filled.

Hegarty will make the transition from Texas to Michigan during this semester, pending approval from Michigan’s Board of Regents. His last day working on campus will be Feb. 26.

Since 2001, Hegarty has overseen finance, budget, real estate, information technology, open records, payroll and purchasing at UT. 

Mark Schlissel, president of the University of Michigan, spoke about Hegarty in a speech to Michigan’s Board of Regents.

“Mr. Hegarty is strongly committed to the role of public universities and brings a valuable combination of private sector and public higher education experience to the appointment,” Schlissel said. “I am confident he will serve our university well in meeting the challenges ahead.”

President William Powers Jr. said Hegarty has been a valuable resource to the University with regards to improvements in efficiency.

“Few people in our University’s history have served the campus with as much dedication and honor as Kevin,” Powers said. “He will be sorely missed and will always be a great friend. Kevin’s love for the Longhorns is exceeded only by his accomplishments improving the university, making us one of the most productive and efficient campuses in the nation and leading us through very challenging budget years.”

Hegarty has contributed to large-scale projects at UT, such as information technology, finance and procurement services and Shared Services, a plan to centralize the University’s human resources.

“If you look at any of the main initiatives that have happened at the University — things as big as the creation of the Dell Medical School — Kevin and his expertise [have] really been central to that,” UT spokesman Gary Susswein said. “This is a big loss for the university, but we wish Kevin well.”

Susswein said the search for Hegarty’s replacement will not begin until after the next UT president is in office.

Knight, who worked with Hegarty for the duration of his 13 years at UT, said she will continue to expand Shared Services while serving as interim CFO.

“We’ll continue to move forward with the Shared Services Initiative,” Knight said. “It’s currently in a pilot phase, so it has a relatively small impact on the campus as a whole.”

Knight commended Hegarty for his ability to work closely with faculty and administrators on campus.

“He’s got fabulous working relationships with the deans and the vice presidents and really has the attitude of ‘we are here to help with the academic and research mission, and we want to do our jobs well so that the mission of the University can be accomplished,’” Knight said.

University of Michigan watches on as Supreme Court decides Fisher

While UT administrators breathe a sigh of relief after today’s ruling from the Supreme Court on the case of Fisher v. University of Texas, administration at University of Michigan is cautiously examining the impact of the case on their own admissions policy.

The court, which found the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had not sufficiently reviewed UT’s admissions policy under the standards of strict scrutiny, has sent the case back to the appeals court for review. The high body also upheld the precedent of using of race in admissions as a compelling state interest, a "pleasing result," according to UT President William Powers Jr. 

For now the ruling means the University and the next incoming class will be able to use race as a factor in admissions, although the University may be held to a tighter standard of disclosure for its use of admissions in the future.

Such a decision means there will also be no immediate changes at the University of Michigan, which, ten years ago, successfully fought to uphold the use of race in admissions in the 2003 Supreme Court case Grutter v. Bollinger. Today, the university cannot use race as a factor in admissions because of a 2006 voter initiative that ended the practice, although that ruling is currently being challenged in the upcoming Supreme Court case Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.

University of Michigan’s president, Mary Sue Coleman, praised the Supreme Court’s decision Monday in a statement.

“At the University of Michigan, we remain committed to building and maintaining diversity on our campus, and we will continue to work toward that goal in ways that comply with state and federal law,” Coleman said.

The Michigan case, which will be heard by the court this fall, will examine whether or not a state’s ruling to prohibit the consideration of race or gender in admissions violates guarantees of equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.