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.