Bash to Step Down as McDonald Observatory Director

13 January 2002

Austin, Texas -- Frank Bash, Director of the University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory, has announced that he will resign his directorship effective August 31, 2003. “I think it’s time,” Bash said. “It’s said that an observatory director has one telescope in him or her, and I’ve built mine,” he added, alluding to the 9.2-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope. The search for a new director will begin immediately.

“In going, I want to stress the importance of public outreach, and the growing importance of our K-12 education programs. I’m very proud of both,” Bash said. “I hope and expect that my successor will continue these efforts, which are designed to excite Texas teachers, and, in turn, students, about careers in science and technology. They are the folks on whose shoulders the future of this state depends.

“The state of Texas should be very proud that it supports one of the best observatories in the world. Through the legislature and through Texas foundations, we’ve built one of the world’s great telescopes,” he added.

“I’m also pleased and proud that the HET is being copied, with our help, by an international partnership based in South Africa,” Bash said, alluding to the HET-near-twin Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), now under construction near Sutherland. “I’m equally pleased that they are copying our educational and public outreach efforts.”

Bash has been the Director of McDonald Observatory since 1991, and was its Interim Director from 1989 to 1991. He came to the University of Texas at Austin as a postdoctoral researcher in 1967, after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He joined the University faculty in 1969, and served as Chairman of the astronomy department from 1982 to 1986. He has won numerous teaching awards, and currently holds the Frank N. Edmunds Regent’s Professorship in Astronomy.

NOTE: The McDonald Observatory Director's Office may be contacted at 512-471-3303.