Six Galway TDs – including two junior ministers – have called for the fees to be reviewed.
Prof Macraith said tonight on Twitter that his "overriding emotion is gratitude".
Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the establishment of the new Department last month.
The new board members will sit until 2024.
Front Gate will now be closed to visitors from 8am to 8pm for the duration of summer break.
Catherine McCabe will take over as dean of students next week.
Prof Kerstin Mey, the vice-president and professor of visual culture of UL, will serve as interim president for the next 18 months.
The number of first-preference applications has shot up from 7,660 last year to 8,381.
All lectures will remain online, but students will attend tutorials and labs on campus for a third of the first term.
The university said it wants to reassure international students and their families.