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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

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Regents approve guiding principles for new university in South Texas

The University of Texas System Board of Regents has approved goals and guiding principles for the new UT university and medical school to be established in the Rio Grande Valley.

The new university will combine the resources of UT Pan American and UT Brownsville and, unlike those institutions, will be eligible for participation in the Permanent University Fund. It will automatically be the second-largest Hispanic-serving institution in the nation and promises to transform education, opportunity and the economy of South Texas. Regents have pledged to build a world-class university and pursue global excellence in teaching, research and healthcare.

“These guiding principles are the foundation on which this new university will be built,” Board Chairman Gene Powell said at today’s Board of Regents’ meeting. “If we are truly to transform South Texas and build a state-of-the-art university in the Rio Grande Valley, we have to think globally and that is exactly what we are doing.”

The guiding principles serve as a sort of constitution, establishing fundamental precedents for the formation of the new university. They include:

  • Fully integrate next-generation technology and customized learning to increase affordability and maximize student success.
  • Promote access to postsecondary education to a diverse student body to become one of the largest and most successful Hispanic-serving institutions in the nation.
  • Promote arts and humanities programs to produce state, national and world leaders who are bicultural, bilingual and biliterate.

The full list of Guiding Principles is posted on the UT System website.

Next steps in creating the new university include launching a presidential search and choosing a name. The Board of Regents has not yet taken action on those two important measures. On July 16, Governor Rick Perry will join UT System leaders, including Chairman Powell and Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, to celebrate the passage of legislation that authorizes the creation of the new university.

Governor Perry will hold ceremonial bill signings on the campuses of UT Pan American and UT Brownsville and Chancellor Cigarroa will discuss next steps in the creation of the new university.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2012 enrollment of roughly 216,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $13.9 billion (FY 2013) including $3.1 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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