AUSTIN—Former UT Brownsville President Juliet Garcia will join The University of Texas System as senior advisor to the Chancellor for community, national and global engagement, Chancellor William H. McRaven announced today.
In this new position, Garcia will work as an ambassador, participating with leaders and organizations throughout Texas, the nation and internationally to convey, clarify and advocate for the UT System and the Chancellor’s priorities.
“Dr. Garcia is a nationally recognized thought leader in higher education and beyond. We are delighted to have her voice when working with organizations and associations to advance our mission and explore opportunities for the UT System to lead,” McRaven said.
Garcia served as president of UT Brownsville for 22 years and was integral in the creation of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
She became the first female Mexican-American president of a college or university in 1986 and has devoted her life’s work to public service. Under her leadership, UT Brownsville more than doubled in size and produced 35,000 college graduates. In 2009, Time magazine named Garcia one of the top 10 college presidents in the nation, and in 2014 she was named one of the top 50 world leaders by Fortune magazine.
Previously, Garcia was appointed by former Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa to lead the creation of The University of Texas Americas Institute. After subsequent consideration, McRaven determined that many initiatives addressing issues facing the Americas and the Global South were already administered by centers and institutes across UT’s academic institutions.
Consequently, McRaven said, “We feel we are better served by applying human capital from across our 14 institutions and convening expert aspects of each to aid in the discussion of critical issues with global significance than administering it out of one System-led institute.”
In lieu of the UT Americas Institute, McRaven will apply his “team of teams” approach that he presented in November as part of his UT System strategic vision. This idea consists of formal and informal networks of subject matter experts bound together by a common mission.
As senior advisor to the Chancellor for community, national and global engagement, Garcia will continue to embrace the core principles behind the UT Americas Institute concept, while broadening the UT System’s scope for global impact. Garcia will also have an active role in implementing the Quantum Leaps proposed by McRaven as part of his vision to advance the UT System.
“It is a privilege to continue to be part of the important work of the UT System at another pivotal moment in our history and I’m honored to be selected for this new post,” Garcia said.
An agreement documenting the terms of Garcia’s appointment will be presented to the Board of Regents at its next meeting.
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical 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 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 217,000, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates almost two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $16.9 billion (FY 2016) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates – and more than 70,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.