Timeline set for merged school - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 10:15 pm

As the University of Texas System begins steps to establish its new university in the Rio Grande Valley, a timeline for the process has been released online.

According to the website — ProjectSouthTexas.com, the website set up for the new university — this month the UT System will begin its accreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Also this month, the UT System Board of Regents will launch a national search for the new university’s president.

Juliet V. Garcia, president of the University of Texas at Brownsville, said it’s too early in the process to decide if she wants to be considered for the position of president at the new university that will evolve from the merger of UTB and the University of Texas-Pan American.

“I don’t think any of the decisions about all of that have been determined yet, so I’m not in a position yet to say,” Garcia said Wednesday.

However, Garcia did say she would be involved in whatever way she is needed.

“I’m going to do whatever the chancellor needs for me to do,” Garcia said in an earlier interview. “I’ve played every role imaginable. I’ve been quiet, I’ve been aggressive, but always with the same mission and that doesn’t change. I believe in what he’s (the chancellor) doing. I believe in the work he’s envisioning.”

In August, as previously announced by system Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, the system will begin holding monthly town hall meetings with faculty, staff, students and community members to try to answer questions.

The university’s name should be finalized in November or December and announced by the end of 2013, according to the timeline. In January or February, the new president for the new university will be announced. After the new president takes the post, they will work with students to develop a process to decide on a new mascot and school colors.

The current mascots are the Ocelot for UTB and the Bronco for UTPA. While UTB’s colors are burnt orange and navy blue, UTPA’s colors are green and orange.

According to the website, staff, faculty and administrators at both UTB and UTPA will continue with their current responsibilities throughout the merger transition. But, the new university will have single academic programs and single administrative units, “which could require reorganization and reassignments of staff.”

Tuition and fees for the new school will be determined by the UT System Board of Regents. The transition team will work with faculty to determine which degree programs will be offered at the school.

An estimated date for SACS accreditation is June 2015, right before the inaugural class enrolls in August. The December 2015 graduates will be the first to receive degrees bearing the new school’s name. Alumni of UTPA and UTB can request their transcripts from the new school.

mmontoya@

brownsvilleherald.com

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