Thursday, May 30, 2024

UTSA Provost elected president of Wayne State University

UTSA Provost elected president of Wayne State University

JUNE 30, 2023Wayne State University’s Board of Governors voted unanimously today to elect Kimberly Andrews Espy, UTSA provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, as the university’s new president, effective August 1, 2023. Espy will be the first female president of Wayne State since the university was founded in 1868.

Located in Detroit, Wayne State is the largest public urban research university in Michigan, providing a world-class education through 13 schools and colleges. It offers more than 350 academic programs including 126 bachelor’s, 139 master’s, and 60 doctoral degrees, as well as 30 certificate and professional programs. The university enrolls nearly 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States and nearly 80 countries.

Like UTSA, Wayne State is an urban serving, Carnegie R1 research university. Ranked no. 108 in the nation among all universities and no. 72 among public institutions by the National Science Foundation’s annual Higher Education Research and Development survey, it is home to the largest single campus medical school in the country. Wayne State has built a robust discovery enterprise. In FY 21, it spent $235.5 million on research and sponsored agreements.

“Kimberly has been an invaluable member of the UTSA senior leadership team. I am deeply grateful to her for all that she has done for UTSA. ”

Espy has served as UTSA provost and senior vice president for academic affairs since June 2018. In her role, she has earned a national reputation for advancing institutional, academic and student success; promoting faculty research and development; and deepening university-community partnerships and engagement.

“Dr. Espy has been a catalyst in building programs that accelerate student academic success, broaden paths to graduation for our students and prepare graduates for rewarding careers. Her impact on UTSA and San Antonio is immeasurable,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “Kimberly has been an invaluable member of the UTSA senior leadership team. I am deeply grateful to her for all that she has done for UTSA. We will miss her, but we know that the opportunity at Wayne State University is so special, and she will do an absolutely wonderful job there.”

Throughout her career, Espy has promoted social, intellectual and economic opportunity for all by intentionally enabling affordable access to, engaged belonging in, and successful completion of a top-quality university education that prepares students for their careers and future workforce demands.

She was instrumental in shaping and establishing the UTSA Bold Promise program to make higher education more accessible to high-achieving Texas residents. Likewise, Espy’s commitment to strategic planning and deliberate focus on increasing financial aid helped UTSA achieve a 5% enrollment increase between 2019 and 2022 at a time when college enrollments were declining nationwide, due to the pandemic. Additionally, UTSA was named a 2022 Degree Completion Finalist by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in recognition of a 40% increase in awarded degrees, which marked a 12-point improvement in six-year graduation rates under her leadership.

Espy is the architect of the university’s signature Classroom-to-Career initiative, which provides UTSA students with marketable skills through immersive learning experiences in the public and private sector. In addition to making these graduates more competitive job candidates, these hands-on learning opportunities prepare students to become civic-minded leaders who champion equity and promote prosperity.

“It has been an honor to be a part of UTSA’s extraordinary community. I am so proud to have worked alongside the outstanding faculty, staff and community partners to advance UTSA's success guided by our shared values,” said Espy. “It has been the greatest privilege to connect the people and resources across UTSA and San Antonio to increase access to higher education for students and to provide opportunities for gaining the key marketable skills and experience necessary to confidently enter rewarding careers that can secure bold futures for themselves and their families.”

Equally as important, Espy was instrumental in UTSA’s attainment of the prestigious R1 ranking from the Carnegie Classification of Institutes of Higher Education in 2021, a designation aligning UTSA with the nation’s top 4% of universities. Her leadership enabled UTSA to earn Excelencia in Education’s prestigious Seal of Excelencia, a designation recognizing the university’s ability to accelerate Latino student success, and to become a founding member of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities, furthering UTSA’s commitment to excellence as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

Prior to joining UTSA, Espy was senior vice president for research at the University of Arizona after serving as vice president for research and innovation and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Oregon. Her academic career began at Southern Illinois University then she served at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Espy earned her bachelor's degree in psychology at Rice University and her master's and doctoral clinical neuropsychology degrees at the University of Houston. Additionally, she completed a clinical/pediatric psychology internship at the University of Louisville School of Medicine/Bingham Child Guidance Center and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and is a licensed clinical psychologist.

A translational clinical neuroscientist and investigator, she earned more than $22 million in funding to study how young children control their attention to promote learning, academic and health outcomes, and how these skills get off track related to medical, environmental or social factors.

Effective August 1, 2023, Heather Shipley, senior vice provost for academic affairs will serve as interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

“Kimberly and our dedicated team in Academic Affairs, including our deans, vice provosts and college colleagues, have established a strong foundation for our academic enterprise,” said Eighmy. “UTSA is well positioned to build on that success, fueled by the innovative people within our university community.”

He added, “The Cabinet and I look forward to working closely with Heather, her Academic Affairs team, and our deans as we finalize our budget preparations for FY 24, complete our strategic plan refresh, respond to new appropriations and legislation from the 88th legislative session and launch into an exciting new academic year. I expect to update our community sometime later in the coming academic year regarding a national search and filling this position permanently.”

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Send your feedback to

UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.




University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.