After 16 years at the helm of faculty and student affairs at Trinity University, Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs Michael Fischer has announced his decision to make this his last year as vice president and devote the next phase of his career to his teaching, research, and writing. Fischer will continue service as the vice president through Aug. 2, when he will take a much-deferred academic leave in 2016-17 and return to Trinity in fall 2017 as a professor of English.
“Although I continue to enjoy my administrative work, I am also excited about turning to the research projects I have been postponing and the classes I want to teach,” Fischer says. “I have found my leadership role to be enlightening, challenging, and rewarding. I have always intended at some point to return to full-time teaching and research—my first love and my reasons for becoming a professor—and to move on to other forms of university service.”
Fischer, who has served as the University’s chief academic officer since 2000, streamlined academic affairs and created more direct communication to department chairs; he played a central role in the development of the Trinity Tomorrow strategic plan, of which he serves as co-chair; and he provided leadership for intercollegiate athletics and undergraduate recruitment and retention. Fischer also served as interim president of Trinity University in spring 2015.
Each year, in addition to his administrative role, Fischer also teaches a HUMA course, Trinity’s flagship course in the history of Western ideas.
“My wife, Kim, and I have enjoyed the many opportunities that have come with this position, especially the chance to meet so many dedicated and talented people and to host so many visitors at our University home,” Fischer says. “We will continue to be active members of the Trinity community and the San Antonio community, both of which we love and care so much about.”
Prior to joining the Trinity administration, Fischer was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of English at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in English from Princeton University and earned a master’s and doctorate in English from Northwestern University. His son Josh Fischer ’02 and three nephews have graduated from Trinity.
“It has been a privilege to get to know the many people who make Trinity such an exceptional university,” Fischer says. “I am proud of what the University has accomplished during my time here and excited about what lies ahead.”
Contributing to the vision of Trinity Tomorrow, Fischer consolidated the operations of academic affairs and student affairs into one division. While the University has experienced gains by integrating academic affairs and student affairs, next steps in University leadership have led to the reconfiguration of the portfolio of responsibilities for a vice president for academic affairs and a vice president for student affairs. The search for a vice president for academic affairs is currently underway, led by a University committee and assisted by Academic Search Inc., which assisted in the search for the 19th president and the vice president for advancement and alumni relations.