Twenty two years ago, I began serving as President
of UT Brownsville. It has been an extraordinary
adventure for which I am most sincerely grateful.
I have been privileged to serve the people of the Rio
Grande Valley, to help tell the myriad of stories of the
dreams of our students and 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
With Dr. Guy Bailey now selected as the inaugural
president of the new UT Rio Grande Valley and Dr.
William Fannin named interim president of UTB,
I will step down as President of UT Brownsville on
August 31, 2014. As the UT System Chancellor
announced this spring, I have accepted a new position
as Executive Director of the new 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. 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.
My father and mother never had the opportunity to
go to college. But they talked of it often and wanted
nothing more for their children than to insure that
we were never denied that dream. I have wanted the
same for every child in the Rio Grande Valley. Since
the establishment of UT Brownsville, more than
35,000 degrees have been awarded. I thank you for
the privilege of having served as president.
My parents would be proud of all of us.