Dear U. T. Brownsville Colleagues,
I very much enjoyed my recent visit to your beautiful campus and meeting with members of the U. T. Brownsville administration, faculty, staff, and student body. It is clear that your mission of building U. T. Brownsville into a freestanding, vibrant and innovative 4-year university is foremost in your minds, as it is in mine and in those of the members of the Board of Regents. The sense of energy emanating from everyone I met was profound. It was indeed a proud moment to address your guests at the dedication of the Biomedical Research Building, to hear the wonderful testimonial of Nicole Ruiz who has been admitted to a bioinformatics graduate program in Utah, and to join student scientists in the ceremonial ringing of the bell.
As part of the U. T. Brownsville / Texas Southmost College transition, you will begin receiving news from my office as we progress toward separation of the two entities. Timely and straightforward communication is an integral part of change, and I heard from many of you that it was important to hear directly from System. I also received many questions regarding your future employment at U. T. Brownsville, more specifically, when an announcement might be made in this regard.
On or about March 15, U. T. Brownsville administration will begin the thoughtful and strategic process to review current academic programs, and academic positions. As the work continues, we are hopeful that we can provide more specific information to Faculty in May or June related to employment and programmatic changes. Staff decisions will be made thereafter and we pledge to keep your community updated on progress. In the meantime, we have developed a website, [http://www.utsystem.edu/utb-transition], specifically for information related to the partnership unwinding, and have included a section on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that may provide answers to other inquiries you have.
While on your campus, I also had the opportunity to meet with transition team members from the U. T. System and Texas Southmost College as we embark upon this critical period of change. I told the transition team how profoundly important it is that each institution continue to meet and serve the higher education needs of a very important region of the state. The transition team members continued their meeting well into the afternoon, working on timelines and discussions of moving forward with the separation of the two institutions into a free standing four year university and a stand-alone community college. At the conclusion of that meeting, it was reported that the administration of Texas Southmost College was committed to submitting its academic program listing to the U. T. System by March 10. The identification of courses that will be offered at U. T. Brownsville and at Texas Southmost College is an integral step in determining academic and support staff positions that will be necessary for both institutions to successfully meet their respective educational missions.
It is important to remember that this is not merely a transactional separation of two entities, but most importantly an extraordinary new beginning for generations of students who will earn a high quality University of Texas degree. We are very enthusiastic about the new vision, strength, and brand of U. T. Brownsville as we move to even greater levels of higher education excellence.
U. T. Brownsville continues to make great strides in delivering excellent educational and research opportunities to its students. Please know that the Board of Regents and I offer our full support to the students, faculty, and staff of U.T. Brownsville, and we applaud your strength and enthusiasm for the future. I greatly appreciate the leadership of President Juliet Garcia and her executive team. Just as importantly, I am very grateful to each of you!
With great respect,