Dear Faculty and Staff,
The purpose of this message is to provide an update on the development of the structure for UTRGV. Although that structure has not been finalized, the following will be central to UTRGV:
1. Since student success is a primary goal of UTRGV, managing the student lifecycle from recruitment through graduation and job placement will be central to its organization. We will build on best practices at the legacy institutions and also import practices that have been successful elsewhere to maximize our students’ chances for success. We anticipate many opportunities for faculty and staff in these areas.
2. Because we want to attract the best students in the Rio Grande Valley and offer them educational opportunities similar to those offered at flagship universities across the nation, we will propose an Honors College for UTRGV that will serve both residential and commuter students, although perhaps in different ways.
3. Because the university will move toward Emerging Research Status over the next few years, we will also propose a Graduate College for UTRGV. This will promote the development of new doctoral programs and the expansion of existing ones.
4. The new medical school not only offers opportunities for the production of new physicians for the Rio Grande Valley, but it also provides an opportunity to leverage the School of Medicine to help strengthen existing physician assistant, nursing and allied health programs. We are currently exploring the best mechanisms for accomplishing this.
5. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved the list of programs that the University of Texas System submitted for the new university; a link to those programs is posted on the South Texas Project website. We anticipate that virtually all of these programs will be offered at UTRGV. Precisely how these programs will be organized into colleges is still under review, but the academic structure of the new university will be appropriate for a research university.
6. The Board of Regents must approve the academic structure for UTRGV. We will take a proposed academic structure to the Board in August.
7. To begin the process of faculty and staff hiring, we need to fill a few executive positions in academic affairs, compliance, finance and administration, and human resources. We will post those positions this week.
8. You have previously received information on the timeline for Phase I faculty hiring. The approved program list indicates the disciplines for which we need to fill positions. I look forward to moving this process forward in a timely manner.
Finally, thank you for your patience and your help. I look forward to working with you as we move forward.