Larry R. Faulkner is Chancellor ad interim of The University of Texas System. He is also President Emeritus of The University of Texas at Austin and is a retired president of Houston Endowment, a private philanthropy established by Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones. Dr. Faulkner was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1944. He received a B.S. degree from Southern Methodist University in 1966 and was awarded a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1969 from The University of Texas at Austin.
After completing his graduate work, Dr. Faulkner served as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University until 1973. He then joined the faculty at the University of Illinois, where he eventually became Professor of Chemistry in 1979. Faulkner was Professor of Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin during the 1983-84 academic year. In 1984, he returned to the University of Illinois as Head of the Department of Chemistry and was appointed Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1989. He continued as Dean until his appointment as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in early 1994. Dr. Faulkner was an active member of the Materials Research Laboratory at The University of Illinois from 1978 through 1990.
In 1998, he returned to the University of Texas at Austin as the 27th president, and served into 2006. Faulkner became President of Houston Endowment in February 2006 and retired in February 2012.
At the request of the Board of Regents, he assumed the chancellorship ad interim of the University of Texas System on June 1, 2018.
Dr. Faulkner has published more than 120 scientific papers and directed 40 doctoral theses. He also is co-author (with Allen J. Bard) of the prominent text, Electrochemical Methods: Fundamentals and Applications, and is co-inventor (with Peixin He and James Avery) of the cybernetic potentiostat, which has had a lasting impact on the design of commercial analytical instruments.
He has been an active member of the Electrochemical Society, of which he became President (1991-92), Fellow (1993), Edward Goodrich Acheson Medalist (2000), and Honorary Member (2003). Dr. Faulkner is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society. He was the recipient of the American Chemical Society's Award in Analytical Chemistry in 1992. He received the U.S. Department of Energy Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Materials Chemistry in 1986. As the 1998 recipient of the Charles N. Reilly Award, Dr. Faulkner was recognized for more than 30 years of research in electrochemistry and analytical chemistry by the Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry. He has received a D. Sc. (honoris causa) from Southern Methodist University and Distinguished Alumnus Awards from The University of Texas and Southern Methodist University. In 2003, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The University of Texas System Board of Regents recognized his service by granting the permanent title of President Emeritus and by naming the Larry R. and Mary Ann Faulkner Plaza and the Larry R. Faulkner Nanoscience and Technology Building at The University of Texas at Austin.
As President of The University of Texas at Austin, he oversaw a seven-year capital campaign that raised over $1.6 billion. He also appointed and supported the work of the Commission of 125, a citizens’ group that provided guidance on the future of the University and its relationship to the public. Other significant achievements included the development of the Blanton Museum of Art, the acquisition of the Suida-Manning Collection of European Art and the Woodward-Bernstein Watergate Archive, the reopening of the observation deck of the UT Tower, and the creation of innovative scholarship programs that helped to restore UT’s minority student enrollment.
By designation of the President of the United States and the Secretary of Education, he chaired, from 2006 to 2008, the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, which addressed mathematics education for the nation’s children.
From 2011 into 2013, he chaired the American Chemical Society’s Presidential Commission on Advancing Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences, which undertook a full review and offered extensive recommendations for improvement.
From 2014 into 2015, he served as vice-chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee, which drafted 60×30TX, the 15-year plan for Texas higher education extending to 2030.
From 2014 into 2016, he chaired the National Academies Committee on Federal Regulation of Research, which carried out a comprehensive review and made numerous specific recommendations for improving regulations, regulatory procedures, and regulatory apparatus.
He has served on the boards of Exxon Mobil Corporation, Temple-Inland, Sandia National Laboratories, Southern Methodist University, Internet2, Houston Grand Opera, Discovery Green Conservancy, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, the O’Donnell Foundation, and Reasoning Mind. He is currently on the boards of, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Covenant Presbyterian Foundation, and the Philosophical Society of Texas.