Former UTA president Spaniolo to lead North Texas Commission

James Spaniolo served as president of UTA from 2004 to 2013.
James Spaniolo served as president of UTA from 2004 to 2013. Star-Telegram/Paul Moseley

James D. Spaniolo, who served as president of the University of Texas at Arlington for nearly a decade, has been tapped to become the next president and CEO of the North Texas Commission.

The commission, a consortium of institutions including businesses, local governments, chambers of commerce and local universities, said that Spaniolo will begin his new job on Oct. 3. He succeeds Mabrie Jackson, who left the commission to lead public affairs for H-E-B/Central Market.

“We are excited to have Jim lead the team at the North Texas Commission,” said Robert Hastings, North Texas Commission chairman and executive vice president at Bell Helicopter, in a prepared statement. “At UTA, he had a strong record of collaboration and partnership building, and his extensive background in communications, public affairs, law, philanthropy and higher education will serve our region well.”

Spaniolo, 70, served as UTA’s president from 2004 until his retirement in 2013. While at UTA, he oversaw a steady increase in enrollment and creation of the university’s College Park District.

Since leaving UTA, the Michigan native has served as a special adviser for higher education to the Michigan governor’s office. Before joining UTA, Spaniolo served as the dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University.

“Returning to North Texas is where my heart is. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the extraordinary public and private leaders throughout North Texas in achieving even greater levels of distinction for the most dynamic region in our country,” Spaniolo said in a statement.

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773, @stevekasko