This September, UT Brownsville marks its 22nd year as a university that embraces innovation and challenges tradition. We are now launched on a new chapter focusing on meeting the Chancellor’s charge of establishing UTB 2.0 as a new model for the 21st Century. As such, we begin this year in the spirit of rethinking processes for one of the most important divisions on our campus; that of enrollment management.
In the new model of UTB 2.0, we will have aggressive and targeted recruitment of students who meet newly installed admissions requirements and have many choices of where and how to receive a high quality educational experience. It requires that we carefully rethink a myriad of processes to attract and retain students and then help guide them successfully through to graduation.
As such, we join the ranks of other progressive universities that are asking provocative questions about how best to innovate in an area ripe for improvement with vast and now easily accessible data, permeating technology and eager and enthusiastic prospective students.
Reinventing our recruitment, orientation, and processing, without creating new demands on our budget, will be critical to develop a trajectory that will keep our university healthy. Our approach must be broad-based and feature a campus-wide focus. To initiate this effort, we have reached into our campus community to borrow talent from experienced professionals.
Dr. Sylvia Leal, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, has accepted the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management Services, ad interim. She brings 25 years of educational experience from BISD, Region One and UT Brownsville. She will collaborate with Associate Vice President Rene Villarreal and the division’s staff to design a strategic enrollment management plan for the new university.
Dr. Nikkie Hodgson, who currently serves as Interim Director of the Center for Civic Engagement, will join enrollment management as the Executive Director, ad interim of a new one-stop enrollment services center. She has more than 20 years of experience in higher education throughout the Rio Grande Valley in recruiting, retention, financial aid and as a member of our own faculty.
We welcome our colleagues to their new positions and look forward to the expertise and enthusiasm they will bring to this important redesign.
Juliet V. García