Shine Announces Two Executive Promotions at UT System

AUSTIN – Two seasoned managers with extensive expertise in their respective fields have been promoted to senior positions at The University of Texas System in recognition of their exceptional performance and service to the organization. The announcements were made today (Aug. 21) by Interim Chancellor Kenneth I. Shine.  Both appointments are effective Sept. 1.

Amy Shaw Thomas was named vice chancellor and counsel for health affairs. Her additional responsibilities include implementing new initiatives and programs for the Office of Health Affairs as well as oversight of the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service and the Joint Admission Medical Program.  She will continue to serve as chief of staff and counsel to the executive vice chancellor for health affairs, and to provide advice on complex legal, business, regulatory, organizational and public policy issues in consultation with the UT System’s six health institutions.  Thomas regularly leads and coordinates complex program and management initiatives in Health Affairs, including institutional affiliations, acquisitions, and collaborations between and among UT institutions. 

Philip Aldridge was named vice chancellor for finance and business development.  His expanded duties include being responsible for ensuring that all transactions requiring Board of Regents’ and/or UT System Administration approval are completed in a timely, professional, and value-added manner.  This will involve providing assistance to the institutions to effectively negotiate, structure, analyze and close transactions.  Aldridge will continue to administer departmental programs regarding debt issuance, debt capacity, cash management, capital project review, energy policy and the analysis of market trends. Aldridge is also the administrative liaison to The University of Texas Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO), which manages more than $24 billion of operating and endowment funds.

“Amy and Philip are two of the finest and most valued members of The University of Texas System team,” Shine said.  “They have proven their professionalism, skill and devotion to the System and its institutions consistently over the years and exemplify the System’s commitment to adding value in all of our endeavors.  Their promotions are well-deserved and we are grateful they have agreed to these additional responsibilities.”

Thomas has many years of experience working in the private sector and state government and is widely recognized for her expertise on public policy issues. She joined the UT System in 1997 as an assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations where she represented the UT System and its institutions with members of the state Legislature and other state agencies.  She was promoted to associate vice chancellor for health affairs in 2002. 

Prior to joining the UT System, Thomas was legislative counsel and director of debt management and public policy at the former Texas State Treasury, practiced public finance and public law in the private sector, and was a legislative staffer to one U.S. senator and two Texas state senators.  She earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in government, a law degree from UT Austin and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Aldridge joined the UT System in January 2001 as the assistant vice chancellor for finance. He was later promoted to associate vice chancellor for finance in November 2002, and then served as interim vice chancellor for business affairs from September 2003 to July 2004. He will continue to report to Scott C. Kelley, the UT System executive vice chancellor for business affairs.

Prior to joining the UT System, Aldridge served as the vice president, finance and treasurer of the Columbia Energy Group, a $7 billion vertically integrated energy firm based in Virginia. There, he was responsible for conducting all corporate finance, capital allocation and business development activities. A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Treasury Professional (CTP), he received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas Christian University and his MBA in Finance and Accounting from UT Austin.  He also completed executive development programs at the Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania.

The UT System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.5 billion (FY 2009) including $2.5 billion in research funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Student enrollment exceeded 194,000 in the 2007 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 81,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.