Last week, the Brownsville Herald incorrectly reported in a headline that I had resigned as President of UT Brownsville. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have served as President of UTB for 22 years, through good times and through some very difficult moments as well. It has been my life's greatest privilege to have the unique opportunity to serve the people of a community where I grew up and where my husband and I have raised our children and now our grandchildren. Not once has it ever occurred to me to resign even during the most difficult of times, much less now that we have before us a grand new adventure.
An accurate headline would have read that I have decided to not apply for the presidency of the new UT RGV. In discussions last year with the Chancellor, I told him that if we were successful in establishing the new UT RGV, I thought it would be a perfect time for organizational leadership change. Twenty-two years in a presidency is about three times the average tenure of univeristy presidents in the US. I have had the extraordinary privilege of working side-by-side with hundreds of dedicated staff and faculty to help build a strong foundation that is now ready for its next evolutionary chapter. But great universities take a sustained and dedicated effort over many decades to develop fully. The journey of this university is just beginning, and now deserves and requires a new generation of leadership.
I have pledged to our Chancellor that I will continue to serve the university through the moment that I have the privilege of passing the baton to the new president of UT RGV in a manner that is seamless for our students and successfully launches UT Rio Grande Valley. I pledge the same to each of you who have provided the inspiration for our work.
My career's work has taken me worldwide and has allowed me learn and contribute broadly, always aimed at helping the most marginalized populations whether it be in Texas or South Africa. But the Valley has remained my headquarters, and the expansion of higher education opportunities throughout Texas, my most fervent goal. It is my intention to always maintain that purpose and continue to serve in whatever capacity best serves our communities.
Juliet V. García