A Message from President Damphousse

Email sent to Faculty and Staff

December 5, 2023

message from txst president dr kelly damphousse

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that following an extensive national search, Dr. Pranesh Aswath has accepted my offer to become Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas State University (TXST). Dr. Aswath will begin his new role on February 1, 2024.  

I want to express my deepest appreciation to Provost Gene Bourgeois for his more than 30 years of unwavering service to TXST. He has played (and will continue to play) an important role in moving TXST forward. I am personally grateful to Gene for the guidance and support he gave me during my own transition into Texas State.  

Dr. Aswath comes to TXST from a 33-year academic and administrative career with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), serving the last eight years in the provost’s office, having served two years as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, in addition to serving as Senior Provost for Academic Planning and Policy and Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Policy. His range of responsibilities included overseeing the academic operation of the university, the divisions of academic planning and policy, institutional effectiveness and research, and the UTA-Fort Worth campus and Global Academic Initiatives. He is a professor in both Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering as well as Materials Science and Engineering, and he has served as Associate Dean in the College of Engineering. 

As TXST Provost, Dr. Aswath will help in the pursuit of our strategic Hopes and Aspirations High vision to become an R1 by 2027, enhance student success, grow the Round Rock Campus, increase enrollment, and make TXST an employer of choice. His focus will include examining academic structures, resource allocation, policies, and procedures to ensure the efforts of faculty, staff, and administrators align with the goals of the university and that academic priorities are implemented efficiently.  

Dr. Aswath was in the UTA Provost Office when the university received and renewed its Carnegie R1 designation. In addition, he successfully implemented many of the strategic initiatives that TXST is pursuing, including: 

  • Helping the university transition to a modified Resource Centered Management budget model; 
  • Focusing on student success initiatives leading to double digit improvements in four- and six-year graduation rates;  
  • Coordinating the launch of over 25 new undergraduate and graduate degrees over seven years; 
  • Recruiting and on-boarding 100 tenure-track faculty members;  
  • Leading the growth in international student enrollment to its current total of over 5,000 students; 
  • Expanding access to Open Educational Resources and low-cost textbooks resulting in savings of over $15 million for students in three years; 
  • Leading the e-Learning transformation project at UTA to transform digital learning. 

Throughout the interview process, I was impressed with Dr. Aswath’s passion for supporting TXST’s vision, and his proven ability to bring a forward-looking, innovative mindset to the role. It is clear that Dr. Aswath is an effective change manager and systems thinker who can see the breadth of activity across an institution and understand the interconnectivity of all its parts. He has a deep commitment to shared governance and collaboration, and he is ready to listen to, and engage with, our TXST community.  

In addition to his experience in academic operations, Dr. Aswath is an accomplished scholar. He is a Fellow of American Society of Materials, Fellow of Society of Tribology Lubrication Engineers, and most recently, was elected as Fellow of National Academy of Inventors. He has published over 150 journal papers, graduated 20 Ph.D. students and 35 master’s thesis students, has commercialized several technologies in materials science, and he is included in multiple patent publications and filings. 

Dr. Aswath earned a bachelor of science in physics, chemistry and math from St. Joseph College, Bangalore University, and a bachelor of engineering in metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Science. He earned a master of science in materials science and a doctorate in materials science and engineering at Brown University. You can read more about Dr. Aswath in our TXST Newsroom.

I know Dr. Aswath will lead the Provost’s Office in its mission to ensure excellence in all teaching, research, and service activities, and continue to affirm that shared governance, academic freedom, and high standards for professional excellence are the hallmarks of TXST. 

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Pranesh Aswath to Texas State University!


President Kelly Damphousse