Kedra Ishop, vice provost and admissions director at UT, will step down on July 15 to become the associate vice president of enrollment management at the University of Michigan. Ishop, BA ’97, MEd ’00, PhD ’08, Life Member, says that the move was in the works prior to news regarding the UT System’s launch of a full-scale external investigation into admissions at UT-Austin.
“All this began before any of that, before the announcement,” Ishop says. “It was not part of it. Most important was making the right decision in what I’ve been doing for my career.”
Ishop would not comment on the private meeting regent Wallace Hall proposed with Ishop months ago during his inquiry into the admissions process, or on the UT regent controversy in general. Hall has been under investigation for the better part of a year by the Texas Legislature on the subject of massive, unprecedented document requests, and if they violated state or federal statues. Hall maintains he has simply been fulfilling his duties as a regent.
Ishop’s role will be broader at Michigan than than it is at UT, as Ishop will oversee several units. The new gig, she says, represents a promotion.
“It’s a very bittersweet moment for me—I wasn’t looking to leave the institution,” Ishop says. “Sometimes great opportunities come knocking. Anyone learns that as you prepare yourself to lead, you sometimes get knocked in head by a tremendous opportunity—that’s what I have at UM— and you notice and you listen. I’m excited about the position and the opportunity that Michigan presents. At this is point in time it’s the right decision for myself and my family to take advantage of it.”
Ishop is proud of her time at the University of Texas, noting the dynamic relationship between the institution, the state of Texas, and its constituents as being unique to the school.
“There’s a lot of things [I’m most proud of],” Ishop says. “It’s being a part of transforming the admissions process from one that when I entered over 20 years ago was in a different time and place to being a part of transforming admissions with holistic review. Not just professionally, but also being part of this team and all of us taking ourselves across this in a short amount of time. It’s hard to see from the outside how transformative it is.”
Ishop also says that any adversity she or the admissions office have faced at UT helped prepare her for her new role at Michigan, one that is set to begin on September 1.
“Michigan would not have been interested in me,” Ishop says, “without the preparation I’ve had at UT, and I’m extremely proud of the experience I’ve had here at the university.”
That experience is deeply important to Ishop, an alumna who received three degrees from UT and has mixed emotions about leaving the university despite her new opportunity at Michigan.
“Texas is my home. Always was, and always will be.”
Photo courtesy Lucy Ledesma.