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The Paul B. Woodruff Professorship for Excellence

The School of Undergraduate Studies is accepting donations to the Woodruff fund. Once the professorship reaches the minimum amount for a chair, the fund will be upgraded accordingly.

The Paul B. Woodruff Professorship for Excellence in Undergraduate Studies supports a yearly faculty appointment. It is awarded to an individual who improves the core curriculum, develops an interdisciplinary program, designs a new first-year course, and/or mentors junior faculty. As a tribute to Dr. Woodruff’s visionary work as inaugural dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies, members of The University of Texas at Austin community established this endowed professorship and have already raised over $500,000.

Under Dr. Woodruff’s leadership, the university renewed focus on undergraduate education. The school he helmed for six years, now UT Austin’s second largest, has become a much-needed home for students to explore their academic paths and career possibilities. “As dean of undergraduate studies, Dean Woodruff’s work has touched virtually every undergraduate student on campus,” said Steven Leslie, provost and executive vice president. “From the beginning, he brought stellar academic accomplishment, commanded the respect of the entire faculty and applied his masterful administrative skills to the complex task of building a reformed curriculum that has served as a model for the nation.”

About Dr. Woodruff

Highly regarded across the university, Woodruff began teaching at UT Austin in 1973 with a specialty in ancient Greek philosophy. After three years as chair of the Department of Philosophy, he became director of the Plan II honors program in 1991 and served on Bill Powers’ Task Force on Curricular Reform in 2004-05. In 2006, he accepted President Powers’s invitation to serve as the inaugural dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Read more from President Powers about the endowment and Dr. Woodruff

Woodruff is the Darrell K. Royal Professor in Ethics and American Society and held the Hayden Head Regents Chair as director of Plan II. He won the 1986 Harry Ransom Teaching Award and was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 1997. He earned a bachelor’s degree in classics from Princeton University and a bachelor’s in Literae Humaniores from Oxford University. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton. A single thread runs through all of his roles: he shaped and improved the lives of students.