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Vanden Bout, David A.

David A. Vanden Bout

Dean, College of Natural Sciences, Professor
College of Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry

Mary Ann Rankin Leadership Chair for the College of Natural Sciences (Holder) | Robert E. Boyer Chair in Natural Sciences (Holder)


Phone: 512-471-3285

Office Location
WCH 3.104

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Dr. David Vanden Bout is dean of the College of Natural Sciences and has served in the college’s administrative leadership since 2013. He oversees implementation of the academic mission for the largest college at UT Austin, supporting almost 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 700 faculty, 1,200 staff, and numerous stakeholders, including 80,000 living alumni, across a wide range of subject areas in the sciences, mathematics and technology. With research expenditures in excess of $126 million, the college that Dean Vanden Bout leads spans campuses across Texas, including the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas and the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis. Over his years in the college, Vanden Bout has spearheaded efforts to raise four-year graduation rates for undergraduates from around 50% in 2014 to 79% in 2022, with steep gains in student success during his tenure among populations that had traditionally struggled most in the College of Natural Sciences.

Dr. Vanden Bout is the winner of multiple research, teaching and leadership awards, including an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a Cottrell Scholar award, a Research Innovation Award, a President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, a UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, the Precursor’s President’s Award and GlobalMindED’s Inclusive Leader Award.

Dr. Vanden Bout earned his B.S. in chemistry from Duke University in 1990 doing undergraduate research with  Richard MacPhail. He earned a Ph.D in chemical physics in 1995 from The University of Texas at Austin under the supervision of Mark Berg. He went on to work as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow in Paul Barbara's laboratory at the University of Minnesota. He started as an assistant professor in the then-Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997. He was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2003 and the rank of full professor in 2013. He became the associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Natural Sciences in 2014 and senior associate dean in 2019, and he served as interim dean in 2018 and 2021.