Retired Administrator, Professor Looks Back on More Than 40 Years at The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Edwin R. Sharpe

In the summer of 2021, Dr. Edwin R. Sharpe, professor of practice in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, sat down for a series of conversations with doctoral student Daniel Becton following the announcement of his retirement from the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin after more than 40 years of service.

Throughout the series, Dr. Sharpe thoughtfully reflects on his time as a student on the Forty Acres, the time he served in the U.S. Army, and how his parents’ families shaped his journey. He also discusses his family’s faith and commitment to public education, and how serving in the Vietnam War changed his life.

“For many decades Dr. Sharpe has been a model of grace, integrity, leadership, and service as a higher education leader and educator,” said Victor Saenz, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, who commissioned the oral history project. “Our department and our students have been the beneficiaries of his brilliance, and we want to share that brilliance with the broader education community.”

Dr. Sharpe reviews his career as he served in several administrative positions including UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UT Austin Vice President for Administration, and Interim President of The University of Texas Permian Basin. He also reflects on his role as UT Austin’s representative during the Blackland neighborhood dispute and the process that led to the creation of the UT Elementary School.

Finally, Sharon Justice, a former dean of students at UT, joined him to recall stories of student protests and developments in the College of Education.

The College of Education is grateful to Dr. Sharpe for his many years of service and wishes the Sharpe family the very best as they embark on the next phase of their lives.

Watch the videos on YouTube

Special thanks to Daniel Becton, ELP doctoral student, for conducting the oral history interviews with Dr. Sharpe as well as curating/editing the final videos.