Dear friends and colleagues,
This year marks 22 years since I began serving as President of UT Brownsville. It has been my most sincere privilege to serve the people of the Rio Grande Valley, to help tell the myriad of stories that each dream for themselves and for their families, to witness their struggles against great odds to earn a degree and launch a career and to understand the vast potential of the people of this region that for too long have been denied the opportunities that come from a college degree. I have been honored to work side-by-side expert and committed faculty, and dedicated and selfless staff.
With Dr. Guy Bailey now selected as the inaugural president of the new UT Rio Grande Valley, I will step down as President of UT Brownsville on August 31, 2014. As the Chancellor announced last week, I have accepted a new position as Executive Director of the UT Institute of the Americas. The Institute will focus on helping develop the next generation of leadership rooted in the values of a democratic society and providing a non-partisan venue for convening discussions of critical issues with global significance.
The Institute will be UT System’s mechanism to serve as a convening voice to help resolve issues facing the Americas and the Global South and serve as a nexus for interdisciplinary groups to come together and focus on creating core competencies in leadership on critical issues. It will accomplish this through sponsorship of seminars, next generation leadership programs, public conferences and events and policy programs for consensus building and problem solving.
Located in the Rio Grande Valley, the Institute will operate throughout the UT System, making use of the vast amount of expertise found on each of the individual campuses and positioning UT to become the gateway to the Global South.
For me, there is no greater pleasure than having the opportunity to live and work in the place I was born and where my family is rooted. I look forward to beginning this new adventure strengthened by the legacy we have built together, one that honors the heritage of the people in our region and inspires learning, creativity, innovation and free thinking.
Soon you will be receiving an invitation for a Despedida, a farewell party, on the evening of August
28th. Please join me in celebrating our work together.
Juliet V. García