Robert Witt (American academic)

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Robert Witt
Chancellor of the University of Alabama System
Assumed office
May 5th, 2012
Preceded by Malcolm Portera
President of the University of Alabama
In office
President of the University of Texas
In office
Personal details
Born (1940-09-16) September 16, 1940 (age 76)
Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sandy Witt
Alma mater Bates College
Dartmouth College
Pennsylvania State University

Robert E. Witt (born September 16, 1940)[1] is an American businessman, and academic administrator. He is the current Chancellor of the University of Alabama System, concurrently serving as the Chairman of the Council of Presidents of Alabama’s public colleges and universities.

Early life and education[edit]

Witt received his bachelor's degree in economics in 1962 from Bates College, his M.B.A. from Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. He is also a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

Academic career[edit]

University of Texas at Austin[edit]

Witt joined the business school faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in 1968, and rose through the ranks as chair and associate dean. He was named the Zale Corporation Centennial Professor in Business in 1983. Two years later he was named to the Mortimer Centennial Professorship in Business and that year became acting dean of business. In 1985, he was named dean, a position he would hold for nine years.

University of Texas at Arlington[edit]

In 1995, Witt joined the University of Texas at Arlington as interim president. He was named permanent president in 1996. His accomplishments at UT-Arlington included:

  • Partnering with the Chamber of Commerce to establish the Arlington Technology Incubator
  • Creating a nanotechnology research and teaching facility
  • Establishing the University's first alliance of African-American ministers and community leaders.

University of Alabama[edit]

In 2003, Witt left the University of Texas at Arlington to become President of the University of Alabama. On May 5, 2012, Witt was appointed as the Chancellor of the University of Alabama System.


Witt was awarded an honorary degree from Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine on May 29, 2016.[2]