St. Mary’s drops ‘interim’ tag from provost’s title

Tyler also becomes Vice President for Academic Affairs

St. Mary’s University has formally named Aaron Tyler, Ph.D., its Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, after the former International Relations professor held the roles for a semester on an interim basis.

The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2016. Tyler was named interim provost in August, when Andre Hampton, J.D. – the University’s first provost – decided to return to the St. Mary’s School of Law faculty.

The University, with help from external search firm Witt Kieffer, conducted a nationwide search for its next provost. The search committee interviewed 11 candidates from a diverse pool of more than 50 provosts and deans from peer institutions. Three finalists, including Tyler, were brought to campus for interview sessions with faculty, staff, students, administration and trustees.

“I have worked closely with Aaron since he became interim provost in August,” said St. Mary’s President Thomas Mengler, J.D. “I see in Aaron a man of enormous faith, integrity and honesty who actively supports our Catholic, Marianist mission and vision. Aaron is a leader, and he has all the skills and values to be successful in this most vital position at St. Mary’s.”

Tyler has a bachelor’s degree in World History from Baylor University and a master’s in International Relations from St. Mary’s. After earning his doctorate in Religion, Politics and Society from Baylor, he joined the St. Mary’s faculty in 2006 as Visiting Assistant Professor for Graduate International Relations. He was chair of the department from 2008 until becoming interim provost, and he was dean for the final two years of that time.

“It’s a privilege to continue in this new role my personal and professional journey at St. Mary’s,” Tyler said. “My life was changed here as a graduate student. What I learned set me on a new path in my faith and career – switching gears from an interest in international politics to a refocused interest in international peacebuilding. I take pride promoting peace and social justice, one student at a time.”

Tyler is an active participant in global interfaith and religious liberty initiatives. Having visited zones of intercommunal conflict – including Israel, Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey – his vocational and research interests lie at the intersection of religion, identity and peace-building. Tyler is a frequent speaker locally, nationally and internationally.

“Aaron has phenomenal communication and personal skills, including that he listens well,” Mengler said. “He is a high-energy individual who is innovative and moves with a strong sense of urgency. Already, Aaron is developing ideas for undergraduate and graduate degree programs for St. Mary’s that I am confident will move us strongly forward.”

His work has appeared in many peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Political Theology, International Journal of World Peace, the APSA Journal of Religion and Politics, and the International Journal of Christianity and Social Work. He is also the author of Islam, the West, and Tolerance: Conceiving Coexistence.


St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.

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