The University of Texas Board of Regents Thursday approved the academic structure of the new UT Rio Grande Valley, taking an essential step forward in making the new university and medical school a reality. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has also approved the structure.
UTRGV President Guy Bailey proposed the 11 colleges and schools that will form the academic foundation for the new institution, including an Honors College and a Graduate College that will offer advanced degrees and create more opportunities for research.
“We want to attract the best students in the Rio Grande Valley and offer them educational opportunities similar to those offered at flagship universities across the nation, so we will create an Honors College that will serve both residential and commuter students,” Bailey said.
UTRGV will include a College of Medicine, College of Health Affairs, College of Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Fine Arts, College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Business and Entrepreneurship, College of Education and P-16 Integration, Honors College, Graduate College and University College.
The College of Health Affairs will be the temporary home for the School of Nursing, School of Social Work and School of Allied Health.
When the School of Medicine is fully accredited, a College of Medicine and Health Affairs will be formed that will include Nursing, Social Work and Allied Health. Until that time, UTRGV will operate a College of Medicine and College of Health Affairs on an interim basis.
The 11 colleges and schools will report to the provost, a crucial position that will be filled in the coming months, along with other executive hires in academic affairs, finance and administration, human resources and compliance.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 in a historic move that will combine the resources and assets of UT Brownsville and UT Pan American and, for the first time, make it possible for residents of the Rio Grande Valley to benefit from the Permanent University Fund. The institution will also be home to a School of Medicine and will transform Texas and the nation by becoming a leader in student success, teaching, research and healthcare. UTRGV will enroll its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine will open in 2016.
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2013 enrollment of more than 213,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $14.6 billion (FY 2014) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.