Former University of Iowa Provost Montserrat Fuentes named president of Catholic liberal arts university in Austin

After taking a reassignment position this past summer, Montserrat Fuentes will be president of St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.

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Montse Fuentes speaks during the provost forum on Thursday, February 7, 2019.

Sarah Watson, Executive Editor


St. Edward’s University, a private Catholic liberal arts university in Austin, Texas, named former University of Iowa executive vice president and provost Montserrat Fuentes as its next president.

Fuentes will take the helm of the Austin-based university on July 1, 2021, the university announced on Friday. St. Edward’s University, a liberal arts university, enrolls about 4,000 students and is a Hispanic-serving institution. Fuentes, a native of Spain, leading the university will mark a “significant milestone” as the first Hispanic president to lead the institution, according to a press release.

In July, Fuentes assumed a new position created within the president’s office, maintaining her $439,000 provost’s salary. Per the university’s contract, she would hold that position at the discretion of the president, but no later than June 30, 2021.

As special assistant to the president, she currently leads a team that updates the university’s strategic plan and conducts her own research.

Fuentes started in the provost position a year before her reassignment, in June 2019, after being selected in the culmination of a nationwide search in March. Before taking the provost position at the UI, she served as the dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University.

In July, Harreld appointed Kevin Kregel as a two-year interim executive vice president and provost in her stead to provide “stability” to the position.

Fuentes has been searching for an administrative position outside of the UI since her reassignment. She was a finalist this fall for a position as Kent State University’s senior vice president and provost, which was ultimately filled by the interim Melody Tankersley.

Fuentes’ selection will end a yearlong national search to fill the presidency of St. Edwards. She’ll succeed George Martin, who’s retiring from the institution in June 2021 after a 21-year tenure.

“Dr. Fuentes has a dedication to providing world-class scholarship and classroom teaching, an unsurpassed commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and a clear vision for the university’s future,” said Steve Shadowen, Board of Trustees chair, according to the Dec. 4 release. “She is the right leader to move the university forward in the growing and evolving state of Texas and in the dynamic, global city of Austin.”

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