University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
|Motto||Latin: Disciplina Praesidium Civitatis|
Motto in English
|Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy.|
|Type||Public State University|
|Established||June 14, 2013 (as UTRGV)|
|Endowment||$46.13 million (December 31, 2015)|
|1,239 (Fall 2015)|
|1,338 (as of June 19, 2015) |
|Students||28,584 (Fall 2015)|
|Undergraduates||24,937 (Fall 2015)|
|Postgraduates||3,647 (Fall 2015)|
|Location||Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen, McAllen, Rio Grande City, South Padre Island, Texas, U.S.
|Colors||Orange, Gray, Green, & Navy
|NCAA Division I – WAC|
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is a public research university in the University of Texas System. UTRGV has multiple campuses in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas; founded in 2013, it entered into full operation in 2015 after the consolidation of the University of Texas at Brownsville, the University of Texas–Pan American and the UT Regional Academic Health Center - Harlingen. The university has a new medical school.
On December 6, 2012, the University of Texas System Board of Regents approved a proposal to abolish The University of Texas–Pan American and The University of Texas at Brownsville, and create The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in their place. The new institution was planned to include a medical school. Governor Rick Perry signed SB 24 into law, approving the creation of the new university in June 2013. In December 2013, the UT System Board of Regents voted to name the new institution The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).
Francisco Fernandez was selected as the founding dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine. Dr. Guy Bailey was selected as the founding university president. Dr. Bailey, in turn, selected Dr. Havidan Rodriguez as the founding Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Janna Arney as his Chief of Staff.
In November 2014, the UT System Board of Regents approved the "Vaqueros" as the athletic nickname for University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. They also approved the official colors of blue, green, and orange.
The university officially opened on August 31, 2015, with UT System chancellor Bill McRaven, U.S. Representative Rubén Hinojosa and state senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa attending the flag-raising ceremony. McRaven said, "One hundred years from now, Texas will look back and say that this day changed Texas forever."
To honor the largest donation in the history of higher education in the Rio Grande Valley, the College of Business and Entrepreneurship was named Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship. Robert C. Vackar, CEO of Bert Ogden Auto Group donated $15 million in the form of an endowment to the college.
The University's property totals 550 acres. UTRGV owns 105 buildings, some of the properties include:
- Brownsville, Texas
- The Brownsville Campus
- Casa Bella
- Cueto House
- Lucerna House
- Resaca Plaza
- The Woods
- Edinburg, Texas
- The Edinburg Campus
- Alumni Center
- Community Engagement and Student Success Building
- Visual Arts Building
- Advanced Tooling Engineering Center
- McAllen, Texas
- McAllen Teaching Site
- Harlingen, Texas
- Academic and Clinical Research Building
- Pump House
- Clinical Education Building
- Rio Grande City, Texas
- UTRGV at Starr County
- South Padre Island, Texas
- Coastal Studies Lab
Some of the new buildings currently being built include: New Science Research Building (Edinburg), New Academic Building (Brownsville), and Medical Education Building (Edinburg).
UTRGV offers 64 bachelor's, 49 master's, and 4 doctoral programs (in addition to 2 cooperative doctoral programs). For the Academic Year 2015-2016, 92.7% of enrolled students came from the Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willancy counties. The ethnic enrollment is 88.8% Hispanic (Fall 2015).
Colleges and schools
Eleven colleges and schools formed the academic foundation for UTRGV, including:
|UTRGV College/School founding|
|School of Medicine||
|College of Medicine and Health Affairs*||
|College of Health Affairs||
|College of Sciences||
|College of Liberal Arts||
|College of Fine Arts||
|College of Engineering and Computer Science||
|Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship||
|College of Education and P-16 Integration||
The UTRGV School of Medicine received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in October 2016. In May 2016, the School of Medicine received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to offer a medical residency program in psychiatry.
The merged university inherited UTPA's Division I membership; most of the athletic facilities are located in Edinburg.
The choice of a new university nickname was met with some contention from members of the communities of the two merged schools. UTPA supporters, the larger of the two merged schools, argued for keeping the UTPA nickname, Broncs, while UTB supporters wanted a nickname new to both merged schools. UTPA Alumni Alex Del Barrio created a petition to "Say No To Vaqueros" that garnered over 11,000 signatures after the announcement was made. Several local city councils also passed resolutions in support of one option or the other. President Guy Bailey recommended a new nickname, Vaqueros, to The University of Texas System Board of Regents on November 5, 2014. The suggestion for Vaquero was inspired by the UTPA student Studio Art projects, where the Toro and Vaquero were the most popular projects.
Bailey also recommended school’s athletic colors be UT System orange, green (formerly the secondary color of UTPA), and blue (formerly the secondary color of UTB).
The announcement to the decision generated a swift and mainly negative reaction from some UTPA supporters on social media. These supporters, displeased that the Bronc was being moved to the wayside, determined the name was culturally insensitive, racist, and sexist. Nevertheless, the UT System Board of Regents approved the recommendation the following day, making Vaqueros the fifth NCAA Division I nickname that is a Spanish language word after the Cal State Northridge Matadors, UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, San Diego Toreros, and New Mexico Lobos. Bailey considered the decision "final" following the approval by the board of regents. About 500 students protested against the Vaquero mascot on the UTPA campus on 13 November 2014. A petition calling for Bailey's immediate resignation garnered more than 700 signatures. Articles of impeachment were filed against the Student Government President Alberto Adame and Vice-President Carla "Fernanda" Pena by Jonathan Lee Salinas (Senator at Large '14-'15) partly for their roles in the mascot committee, though, the impeachment process was ended due to insufficient evidence. Following the protests, the UT System issued a press release supporting the "Vaquero" decision.
At the height of the controversy in November 2014, Texas legislator Terry Canales suggested he was considering filing a bill requiring UTRGV to abandon the Vaquero nickname. Canales submitted HB901 in January 2015. If passed, the legislation would require UTRGV to hold a student election for the athletics nickname, with "Broncs" and "Ocelots" on the ballot.
The mascot design was revealed in February 2015. The logo features an orange faced rider in green on a navy blue and green horse. The logo features an outline of Texas in the negative space between the legs of the horse.
Alumni (Including UTPA and UTB)
- Pablo Almaguer: Chair of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors
- Gloria Anzaldúa: Novelist, Educator, Cultural Theorist
- Jose Luis Betancourt, Jr.: Retired Rear Admiral of the United States Navy
- Mike Brisky: Former member of the PGA.
- Minerva G. Carcaño: Bishop
- Oscar Casares, writer
- Mire Chatman: Euro Basketball player
- Kika de la Garza: Former U.S. Congressman
- Dan Firova: Former MLB baseball player and current Mexican League Manager.
- William Garrison: Retired Major General of the United States Army
- Apple Green: Retired NBA player
- Greg Guy: Former NCAA basketball scoring champion
- Jim Hickey: MLB Pitching Coach
- Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa: Texas State Senator
- Perry Hill: MLB Assistant Coach
- Rubén Hinojosa: U.S. Congressman
- Lucious Jackson: Olympic Gold Medalist and NBA player
- Rossy Evelin Lima: Poet
- Eddie Lucio: Texas State Senator
- Otto Moore: Retired NBA Player
- Valente Rodriguez: Actor
- Marshall Rogers: Former NCAA Basketball Scoring Champion
- Fred Taylor: Retired NBA Player
- Jim Tyrone: Retired MLB Player and Member of UTPA College World Series Team
- Wayne Tyrone: Retired MLB Player and Member of UTPA College World Series Team
- George Williams: Retired MLB Catcher
- Jaime Zapata, U.S. Homeland Security special agent
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