Search Advisory Committee named for next UT El Paso President

- Updated September 6, 2018

A committee to advise The University of Texas System Board of Regents on the selection of a new president for UT El Paso was announced today by regents’ Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker.


The UT El Paso Presidential Search Advisory Committee will offer recommendations on possible successors to Diana Natalicio, Ph.D., who announced in May that she would retire after serving as UT El Paso’s president for 30 years.


The search advisory committee will be asked to present names of potential candidates to the board, which will make the final decision. Committee members were selected in accordance with Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations, which include a provision for representation on such committees by various constituencies internal and external to the institution.


“The last time Regents appointed a president of UT El Paso was more than three decades ago, so we are especially grateful to the committee for assuming this critically important responsibility,” Tucker said. “My colleagues on the board and I are eager to appoint a president who will build upon President Natalicio’s immeasurable impact on UTEP and Texas, especially in the areas of student success and research contributions.”


Representation on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee includes:


  • Chair of Committee (Steven Leslie, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor for academic affairs)
  • Board of Regents (Vice Chairman Paul Foster, Regent Ernie Aliseda and Regent Rad Weaver)
  • Presidents of other UT institutions (Taylor Eighmy, Ph.D., president of UT San Antonio, and Sandra Woodley, Ph.D., president of UT Permian Basin)
  • UT El Paso dean, faculty, and staff (Charles Ambler, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School; Edward Castañeda, Ph.D., professor of psychology; Mark Cox, MSPH, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences; Elena Izquierdo, Ph.D., associate professor of teacher education; and Nadia Munoz, director of military services)
  • UT El Paso student and alumnus (Cristian Botello, UTEP student and president of the student government association, and Bonny Schulenburg, social media relations specialist at Ysleta ISD and president of the UTEP alumni association)
  • External and community members (Woody Hunt, chairman of Hunt Building Co.; Sally Hurt-Deitch, market CEO of The Hospitals of Providence; Renard Johnson, president of METI, Inc.; Mike Loya, CEO and president of Vitol, Inc.; Dee Margo, mayor of the City of El Paso; and Ed Escudero*, vice chairman of WestStar Bank and president and CEO of High Desert Capital)


The committee hopes to recommend top candidates to the Board of Regents by early 2019. The executive search firm of Russell Reynolds Associates, a leading global search and leadership advisory firm, has been retained by the UT System to support the work of the committee and to identify and recruit potential candidates. 


The UT System will announce a website to provide information regarding the search, including a proposed timeline of search activities, and an opportunity for members of the public to privately submit candidate nominations. 


* Ed Escudero was added to the Search Advisory Committee on Sept. 6, 2018.


About The University of Texas System
For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 14 institutions, an enrollment of more than 235,000 students and an operating budget of $19.5 billion (FY 2019), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce nearly 59,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and almost two-thirds of its health professional degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 7.8 million outpatient visits and 1.6 million hospital days last year. Across UT institutions, research and development expenditures total $2.7 billion – the second highest among U.S. public higher education systems – and the UT System is regularly ranked among the top 10 most innovative universities in the world. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and nearly 85,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff.

News Contact Information

Karen Adler: • 512-499-4360 (direct) • 210-912-8055 (cell)