Project South Texas

Q and A, page 1

Q and A, page 1

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Q and A, page 1

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I am a nursing major at UTB and I was wondering if the medical school will offer programs related to nursing, such as, a doctorates degree?

The medical school will offer only an MD degree. Those programs in nursing education have not been defined as of now. The faculty are working on developing new doctoral program.  However, there are recommendations from an academic programs working group to offer doctoral-level programs in nursing as an academic program. Any new doctoral program would have to be approved by the UT System Board of Regents and the Coordinating Board before the program could be offered.  There is no further information about when or if such a proposal will be going forward at this time. 

 

When will the current Student Systems at UTPA and UTB be retired?

We are creating a team that is made of UTRGV subject matter experts, UT System Shared Services staff, and implementation contractors. We will have information on the PeopleSoft SIS implementation in February.    We will kick off the implementation in late February or early March 2014.

Our tentative timeline to bring up the Student Information System to meet the needs of the new class starting in Fall of 2015.  This timeline will bring Admissions live in September 2014, Financial Aid in February 2015, Academic Advising in March of 2015, and Registration and Student Financials in April of 2015.  The old systems will be retired when the new system is activated and running.


What is the timeline to begin to search for a Dean of the College of Nursing?

There is no officially set timeline for the Dean search at this point.


If a bilingual university is planned and with the assumption that the bulk of its student body will be English/Spanish bilingual, what provisions are being made to insure (as much as possible) that the faculty is linguistically qualified to teach in it?

The work group assigned this topic has not yet addressed this. Thus far, their main recommendation relates to the professional development of faculty who may wish to pursue personal and curricular development of bi-literate  and bicultural competencies. 

 

Will the new university be offering physical therapy degrees at the graduate level?

It is too early to tell. However, there is a recommendation from an academic program working group to offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy. A proposal would need to be submitted to both the UT System Board of Regents and the Coordinating Board for approval of any new degree program.  There is no further information about when or if such a proposal will be going forward at this time.


Will the "Shared Services" model that UT Austin, the flagship of UT System, is trying to implement be rolled out at UTRGV as part of the consolidation and new university? If so, how many jobs, if any, do you estimate will be eliminated as a result of this plan?

There is no plan for UTRGV to adopt any other entity's model for "shared services". The guiding principles specify that UTRGV will: "Streamline academic and administrative programs and re-design processes to increase productivity and promote a student- and service-centered mode of operation." While the design of the operational structure and methods for delivery of key services is underway but not yet concluded, we expect to use whatever approaches and methods available to control costs and enhance quality.


There are currently two classifications for UT components - Academic and Health Care. Will UTRGV now be classified as a Health Care institution or will their now be a new classification in conjunction with UT-Austin?

UTRGV, like UT Austin, will have its medical school within the university, unlike the other health institutions in the UT System.

 

Open more science based classes (advanced cell bio, micro bio, genomics)  you advertise a Master's of Science in Biology but the classes are seldom offered.

Noted. Your suggestion will be forwarded to the appropriate academic work group.


Who are the five finalists for the President of the new school?

It is the policy of the search process that the names of candidates for the UTRGV presidency remain confidential until the finalist(s) are identified and their permission to release their names given.

 

There is still a lot of confusion regarding what will ultimately be included in the merger. It is clear that UTB, and the UTHSCSA Harlingen is part of the merger, however 1) is the UTHSCSA ERAHC part of the merger and 2) is the UT School of Public Health BRC part of the merger?

The eRAHC will be part of UTRGV since the RAHC will be part of the medical School. The School of Public Health will remain a part of the UTHSPH and affiliate with UTRGV and the Medical School, but not be an organizational part of it for the immediate future. 

 

Is there a probability that the new Medical School of UTRGV will be hiring statisticians? When the hiring process will be starting?

There are likely to be statisticians at the medical School but no specific positions are have been identified at this time. 

 

I am Really hope for surgical programs, what can you tell me about the possibility?

The surgical programs will be carried out at the affiliated hospitals. The new Dean will recruit a Chief of surgery in collaboration with one or more of the hospitals.

 

Is the  new medical school going to start taking applications for new class of 2016? If so, is there going to be preference for students from the Valley?

The first students would apply to the Medical School in the Fall of 2015 for a 2016 start, provided we get our accreditation for year one completed.  The admissions policies will evolve after we have a Dean and an admissions committee. The criteria for admissions will revolve around the individual student qualifications andhis or her career interests and goals.  It will be an holistic process looking at a  wide variety of factors.

 

Will the new university plan to add a law school at any point in the near future?  The nearest law schools in the United States are in San Antonio and Houston, and it is currently impossible for valley residents to attend law school without relocating.  This is particularly difficult for the demographic which UTPA serves since many students are older and already have families and financial responsibilities; an accessible law school would benefit the Valley tremendously.

There are at present no plans to add a law school at UTRGV.

 

When will the new university, UTRGV, begin to take request for transcripts for past UTB and UTPA students?  Will these transcripts from the UTRGV reflect the coursework from UTB and/or UTPA past completed courses?

The UTB and UTPA student records will be transferred to UTRGV at the start up of UTRGV. Students requesting transcripts for prior coursework done at UTB and UTPA will see those courses reported as having been completed at those respective institutions. Courses taken at UTRGV beginning in the fall of 2015 and after will be recorded as UTRGV courses.

 

Will the students already attending utb or utpa be already students at the utrgv or will we have to reapply?

Students already admitted to and attending UTB or UTPA will be automatically enrolled at UTRGV and will not need to reapply.

 

The Academic Working Groups are acting under the assumption that their reports submitted January 31st were Final Reports. This does not comport with the Special Advisor's Update released today, February 11th, to wit:  All Academic Program Working Groups have turned in their preliminary reports, and we have had preliminary presentations by groups at both campuses. It is clear the groups have been diligently working, and, from the presentations, we can tell there will be some creative proposals for consideration by the new university. Many groups have dreamed “big” and that’s exciting for UTRGV, the new university for the 21stcentury. Final reports are due February 14.

The Special Adviser confirms that you are correct. The Academic Working Groups turned in their final reports on January 31. Other Working Groups reports, however, are due February 14.

 

How will the Chancellor’s announcement that he is stepping down affect the opening of UTRGV?

It has been during the Chancellor’s term of visionary leadership that the State of Texas legislature passed into law the establishment of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The UT System Board of Regents has authorized and begun over $200 million in new investment for land acquisition, new construction, the design and launch of a 21st Century University in the Rio Grande Valley, and the search commenced for its president and dean of the new medical school. The UT System Administration is nearing the completion of the final implementation plan that will guide step-by-step its personnel and resources to the opening of UT Rio Grande Valley next year.

In a letter to UT System personnel yesterday the Chancellor wrote: “Thanks to your extraordinary work, many of the U. T. System goals we developed together are now in the implementation stage and in excellent hands. I can leave the U. T. System Administration with the highest degree of confidence, knowing that together we have successfully achieved what we set out to do.”

The original schedule has been determined, approved and implementation is already underway. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will open as originally planned. Further, Dr. Cigarroa will be a special advisor to the Board of Regents on the development of UTRGV and medical school.

 

If your child plays for the new womens soccer team at UTPA, what is going to happen when the new school starts.  Will the new university offer any soccer scholarships in Edinburg?

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Athletics Committee has been charged with developing a plan that brings together The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) and The University of Texas at Pan American (UTPA) to create a single NCAA Division I-AAA program at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).  This includes recommending a location or locations for the athletics programs.  At this time, we do not have enough information to announce any decisions about any sport

 

I am confused by an article in the Herald today. Dr. Garcia is quoted as saying that she is "charged with making UTB into a 21st Century university". In an another article a few weeks ago she says that she is going to build several buildings and a wind farm on the UTB campus.  Does this mean she is expected to be the president of the new university or does it mean she will be president of the UTB part of it?

The president of UTRGV has not yet been selected. The Board of Regents has launched a national search with the goal of announcing a president for the new university in the spring of 2014. The UT System Presidential Search Committee is led by UT System's Dr. Pedro Reyes, Executive Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs.  The process is on schedule.  A search advisory committee that includes representatives from UT Brownsville, UT Pan American and the South Texas community is assisting with the process.  There will be only one president over all of the UTRGV campuses valley-wide.  (Neither UTB or UTPA will exist after summer of 2015.)

 

What is the Time line for the Medical school? When is the first class going to enter/ When will the school begin applications?

Current plans call for the first Medical School class in 2016 with applications in 2015. There is a South Texas track in place at this time for students to spend two years at San Antonio and the last two years in the Valley.  More details will be provided as they develop.

 

As a current student of UT Brownsville how can I get involved with Project South Texas? Are there student workgroups?

Students have been participating in various Workgroups during the last several months and those workgroups are issuing their final reports mid-February.  Students can continue to be involved in the coming year in UTRGV identity activities (mascot, colors selection, etc.), posing questions on the Project South Texas web site, making suggestions via the web site, and helping fellow students navigate this transition period into UTRGV from the Brownsville, Edinburg and Harlingen campuses. Students can contact their respective campus Office for Student Affairs to learn about the latest opportunities and activities.


What's the mascot going to be? What are gonna be the new colors?

The preliminary plan is for selection of mascot and school colors in the fall of 2014


When will we have details about the implementation of Campus Solutions SIS?

We are creating a team that is made of UTRGV subject matter experts when hired, UT System Shared Services staff, and implementation contractors. We will have information on the PeopleSoft SIS implementation in February.    We will kick off the implementation in late February or early March 2014.

Our tentative timeline to bring up the Student Information System to meet the needs of the new class starting in Fall of 2015.  This timeline will bring Admissions live in September 2014, Financial Aid in February 2015, Academic Advising in March of 2015, and Registration and Student Financials in April of 2015.

 

With the emerging research focus of the UTRGV, it will  be necessary to update tenure and promotion documents to reflect higher research output.  A stronger research emphasis will require faculty to spend more time writing grant proposals and articles for publication.  However, this will require reduced teaching loads.  How will these changes be implemented?  Will existing faculty be 'grandfathered' in and new faculty subjected to new T&P guidelines (and carry lower teaching loads)?

The U. T. System Regents’ Rule 31006 ( http://www.utsystem.edu/bor/rules/30000Series/31006.pdf ) describes the System’s policies regarding faculty workload, including factors that may be considered in order to grant a reduced teaching load. Section 6.13 permits the president of an institution to grant, on a limited basis, workload credit for “basic and applied research following a research work plan approved pursuant to institutional policy,” among other activities. The administration and faculty of UTRGV will develop tenure and promotion policies and guidelines that are aligned with Regents’ Rule 31006, the Guiding Principles established by the UT System Board of Regents, and any other applicable System-level policies and state laws.

 

Will a new university campus be built? I mean literally a new campus?

Many large universities have distributed campuses and UTRGV will have campuses and instructional sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley.  New campus sites will be built over time and existing campuses will see expansion and new construction. UTRGV will also be a technology leader with its virtual campus which will link the physical regional facilities with students around the world.

 

Soy estudiante aquí en UTB y a veces se me dificulta tomar clases en inglés. Paso horas y horas traduciendo mis notas del inglés al español y es un alivio cuando me encuentro con un profesor que me hace el favor de explicar un concepto científico en español. ¿Es cierto que en la nueva universidad podré tomar mis clases en español?

No es probable que un estudiante podrá tomar todas sus clases en español. Cómo aspects bilingüe y bicultural se manifestaran de hecho en la UTRGV hasta este punto todavía no se ha determinado. Recomendaciones de un grupo de trabajo de la facultad quedan pendiente.

 

I am a student at UTB and sometimes it is difficult for me take classes in English. I spend hours and hours translating my notes from English to Spanish and it is a welcome relief when I find a professor who does me the favor of explaining a scientific concept in Spanish. Is it true that in the new university I will be able to take my classes in Spanish?

It is unlikely that a student will be able to take all classes in Spanish. How the bi-literate, bilingual, and bicultural aspects of UTRGV will actually manifest themselves across the university is yet to be determined. Recommendations about this from a working group of faculty are forthcoming.

 

When does the name UTRGV officially change? For example, I graduate this year, will my diploma say UTPA or the new name? This is very important to me because the school I attended was Pan-Am.

Students graduating in December 2014 or May 2015 will receive diplomas from either UTPA or UTB. Students graduating after May 2015 will receive diplomas from UTRGV.

 

I hope they design the new school with plenty of parking. Who decides this?

When new facilities are designed and programmed, access and parking are key and taken into account by the designers, subject to the availability of space and the constraints of funding.

 

At what point in the UTRGV development timeline will staff members at UTPA and UTB know what their status of their jobs will be? Will all staff have to reapply for new positions at UTRGV? How will vice president and director positions be decided on since it has been said in recent weeks that there will be "one" of everything between the two campuses? Will an HR department be set up early in the process to facilitate hires or transfers?  

No decisions have been made about UTRGV’s future employment of our valued staff employees at UTPA and UTB.  That said, UT System is working to develop policies and procedures to address the process for how positions at UTRGV will be filled.  We expect that more details will be available after the hiring of a dean of the medical school and president of the university. 

 

Will benefits be affected if staff will be shifted to the new university?

UT System employee benefits, such as leave and insurance coverage, are required by law to be administered on a uniform basis.  Therefore, a person who is currently employed at UTB or UTPA, and who becomes a UTRGV employee, will experience no change in the benefits for which he/she is eligible.

 

Will there be a football team anytime in the future?

This has not been determined yet.

 

Should there be a reduction in force with the consolidation, will presently tenured faculty have any protection vis-a-vis untenured faculty (i.e., will appropriate protocol, Regents rules, etc., apply in the process)?

The process for closure of UT System Institutions, UTPA and UTB, is under consideration at this point. Employment issues will not be discussed until we have a specific plan. UT System is mindful of faculty and staff concerns.

I have learned from this Q&A that, upper division courses may offer in a single site. Is it decided which program will be  housed which site(either Edinburg or Brownsville)?

Not yet. Recommendations from the academic working groups are still being formed and will be submitted to the UT System for consideration in February. All recommendations will be presented to the Chancellor of the UT System in April.

 

Is the proposed UTRGV logo and branding finalized? Many love the name, but oppose the dubbed logo.

The actual logo and other branding elements for UTRGV have not been decided upon yet.  The ad hoc logos used in the naming process were not intended to be candidates for the new logo.

 

Will the new medical school have a physical therapy degree?

The medical school will only offer the MD degree. A Doctor of Physical Therapy program is presently being studied.

 

Now that we have a name for the new university to be located in south texas, might we consider changing the "project south texas" website to  the "UTRGV" website… and making those links on both UTPA and UTB's   websites… we probably need to bring in the branding activities too….  thoughts?

Yours is a point raised by several others at various meetings in the last month.  A communications working group is scheduled to meet in early February to develop an implementation plan and schedule.

 

What is the timeline for the new mascot and school colors?

The preliminary plan is for selection of mascot and school colors in the fall of 2014.

 

Is the music department from UTPA and UTB going to merge and if so will it be located.

As a general rule,  administrative and academic units (e.g., a department, division, college, school) that house a degree program will exist across all UTRGV campuses, though some programs will be concentrated at one campus because of special equipment and labs or limited enrollment. So, Music degree programs that were offered at UTB and UTPA will be consolidated into one degree program offered by UT Rio Grande Valley, though specific classes may be offered on one or more campuses based upon student demand and availability of required facilities. 

 

If an accounting (or engineering) student is currently enrolled at UTPA because their current residence is near UTPA but then decides to move to Harlingen or Brownsville, will the same courses be offered at the Brownsville campus to allow the student to switch locations in between semesters? If offered, at what point in the process of becoming UTRGV will both locations have the same courses available for the accounting (or engineering) degree that they enrolled in while attending UTPA, or vice versa?

For students who began their degree programs at UTB or UTPA, there will be a phase-out period for those students at UTRGV, so that they can complete their original degree plans as conveniently as is feasible.  New students will begin in the new UTRGV degree programs. As a general rule, UTRGV will have only one academic program of a type, wherever the classes are offered. A student seeking an accounting (or engineering) degree will have the same requirements wherever they may live or attend classes.  However, some programs will be concentrated at one campus because of special equipment and labs or limited enrollment, but UTRGV will take into account student circumstances in scheduling classes, including for specialized labs. 

 

If a faculty member does not wish to teleconference a course between campus, are there cases were she will be forced to do so?

Just as in other universities, the chair of a department (or director of a degree program) will have to make staffing decisions and assignments based on needs of the institution and its students. Just as in past experience, which has seen the introduction of new tools (computers, projectors, high speed telecommunications capability, powerpoint software, etc), faculty are expected to continually enhance their classroom and learning experience, including adopting whatever new capabilities and technology that will enhance the value of their course to students. If it is the decision of the institution to offer the course by teleconference, then the faculty need to accomplish that to the best of their abilities.

 

I'm currently a University Scholar, would I be able to enroll at UTPA with the same scholarship?

When it begins in 2015, UTRGV will honor scholarships awarded previously by UTB and UTPA that extend multiple years, like the University Scholars Program, as long as the student continues to meet the eligibility criteria. However, if you are asking if, in the meantime, UTPA will honor the scholarships awarded by UTB, or vice versa, you should contact your campus financial aid advisor for an answer to your case. Other scholarships that will be offered by UTRGV once it begins have not been determined yet.

 

Will we know what programs will be offered and what are the prerequisites ahead of time? I am saying this so we can be ready once the medical school is finished. What term will the medical school be opened?

The curriculum is currently in the active planning stages. Final determinations about admissions etc. will await the new Dean. Though interdisciplinary education with nursing, pharmacy. PA,  public health  and other students is planned, no separate degrees in these areas will be offered in the Medical School.

 

Will the pharmacy degree be offered fully here or will it still require us to attend Austin? Will programs admit more students since the medical school will grow? For example the Occupational Therapy currently accepts 20-22 will classes be bigger? What new programs will the medical school have? Thank You!

No changes in Pharmacy or  OT are planned at this time. However, as the academic planning process moves forward, this could be modified in the future.

 

The new school is going to have a better ranking in the world?

The UT System envisions a Tier One Research University for the Rio Grande Valley, with a starting student population approaching 30,000, that will be a innovation and technological world leader in higher education in both its academic and medical programs. A primary objective of UTRGV will be to achieve national and world recognition by effectively addressing the educational, economic, health, and social needs of people of the Rio Grande Valley.

 

Will my daughter have to take all online classes if I enroll her in the new university? That worries me because she's not really a self-starter.

While programs and course designs for UTRGV have not yet been completed, students can expect to find their courses available in classrooms, online, hybrid of both, and yet undiscovered modes and media. What all will have in common is a commitment and focus on serving 21st Century students in ways that benefit them most.

 

How soon before we find out what programs will be offered in the medical school. Wondering if there will be a pharmacy program

Only the MD degree is planned for the Medical School though students will have opportunities for joint degrees with other Schools in the new University. Current plans are to matriculate the first students directly in the new Medical School in 2016.

 

Who is the Dean of the new Medical School?

It is hoped that the Dean of the new Medical School will be identified in February or March.

 

The push to turn the UTRGV into a research institution seems to be putting the cart before the horse. To be a competitive research school, it will be necessary to draw talented graduate students and faculty from well beyond the region. Until larger issues such as regional poverty, local government corruption, and extremely poor zoning and enforcement are addressed, why would this talent be drawn to the area?

The new university does face many challenges establishing a national presence in higher education and it can only do this by earning it. UTRGV intends to become an engine for transformation of the Rio Grande Valley through the efforts of many talented faculty, researchers, and students of the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and beyond. Important and meaningful teaching and research that addresses the real needs of the people of the RGV can be a powerful magnet for individuals who want to be a part of this exciting endeavor.

 

When will jobs be available for the new medical school in Harlingen?

In the near term, some Medical School positions e.g. Vice Deans, will be advertised in the next several weeks with the final selections being made with the new Dean of the Medical School.

 

When will the new medical schools in Harlingen & Edinburg be constructed?

Two buildings for the medical school already exist in Harlingen currently housing the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC). Construction of a building in Edinburg at the RAHC site on the UTPA campus will begin in the Spring of this year with completion in late 2015 or early 2016.

 

Would the new University consider to expand the COMPUTER AIDED DRAFTING TECHNOLOGY into a Bachelor in Architecture? Also, is the new merge to  UTRGV instant? for example, transcripts will now have the new UT name.  when does this occur?

New degree programs are proposed with consideration given to a number of factors including workforce need, student demand, faculty availability,  costs, among others. Any proposal for a new degree program must follow the policies and  procedures of the institution and receive support from the provost and president before submitting to the UT System for consideration.  Transcripts for courses and grades will be titled under the entity that issued the credits.  Once students are enrolled UTRGV in the Fall of 2015, their new courses and grades will be transcripted separately by UTRGV. 

 

What is going to happen to sports? Will there be two volleyball teams? Or two cheer teams? Will there be a football team?

A committee is currently being formed to think of innovative ways to implement a single NCAA Division I-AAA athletic program at multiple locations. 

 

Will faculty be asked to reapply for their current positions once the new university is created?

The majority of faculty and staff at UTB and UTPA will transfer to the new university. It has not been decided yet how this will be accomplished. Additional details on this process will be available in early 2014. A prioritization process will be utilized in 2014 to help align resources with the new academic and administrative structure that emerges, as well as the support structure necessary to maximize student success, drive research capacity, and enhance community engagement

 

Will we get a chance to vote on mascot and colors? I submit that the broncs and UTPA colors be kept as the broncs have an intrinsic marketing value along with cost savings of not having to redo the entire campus including removing the Bronc Statue in front of UTPA. Texas State is good example of changing a name but keeping the mascot and colors which allowed for ease of transition without losing its marketing appeal.

Once the new president is hired in spring 2014, a process will be developed to solicit input from students and other key stakeholders on the to the new university colors and mascot. This will likely occur in mid-to-late 2014.

 

I will be majoring in elementary education and will be graduating in the spring of 2016 I'm currently enrolled at UTPA and I was wondering if I will remain in Edinburg once the new university is established?

As a general rule, current students at UT Brownsville and at UT Pan American will not be expected to change campuses in order to complete the requirements of their degree program, so you should have no concerns about that. Looking further into the future, we anticipate that a student’s physical location will be largely irrelevant as the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will offer credit for courses delivered online, in a hybrid/blended format, and as competency-based modules.

 

Will incoming freshmen for fall of 2014 still enter under UTPA or UTRGV? Under what name will current juniors of UTPA graduate with?

Students enrolling for Fall 2014 can do so at UTPA or UTB. Students graduating after August of 2015 will receive UTRGV diplomas.

Will the name change allow for alumni of UTPA to have their degrees changed to reflect the new name change as well as their college rings? 

UTRGV will award new academic degrees under its new name for graduates starting in December 2015. 

The degrees previously conferred by UTB and UTPA will remain with alumni their entire lives, much like those who graduated from Texas State University prior to 2003 carry a diploma with the institution’s former name of Southwest Texas State College. However, UT leaders want to ensure that alumni feel included and invested in UT Rio Grande Valley. While the name may be new, this university is their alma mater too. It is an exciting proposition to see one’s university grow, evolve and be reborn. Leaders at both UTB and UTPA will be working during this transition process to bring together alumni from both institutions and create a large, unified community that will want to promote and support this new institution.

 

I'm graduating Fall 2014, what will my diploma say?

All graduates from UTPA and UTB will receive diplomas from those institutions though the Spring of 2015. Graduates after that date will receive their diplomas from UTRGV.

 

What is the color and mascot?

Once the new president is hired in spring 2014, a process will be developed to solicit input from students and other key stakeholders on the to the new university colors and mascot. This will likely occur in mid-to-late 2014.

 

Will there be a law enforcement program for students in the new university?

Working groups of combined faculty members from UTB and UTPA have started thinking about the academic program mix for the new university. While it is too early to know much detail about which and how programs will be offered at UTRGV, we would expect many programs to continue forward with the new university, while others may need to be re-organized in order to help increase student success. If by chance an academic program is dropped, a teach-out plan is created to help currently enrolled students in the program complete their degree in a timely manner.

 

Will degree plans for all programs remain the same or will new degree plans be released since UTPA and UTB programs are going to merge? When will degree plans begin to change?

All students who began a degree plan at UTPA or UTB will be allowed to finish their programs according to the original plans.  Newly enrolled UTRGV students may have different plans reflecting the new program offerings and program re-organization that may be implemented.

 

It is mentioned that, UTRGV will utilize the distance education classes between two main campuses. How can it be possible for science and engineering lab classes?

Certain classes requiring access to special equipment and facilities available at one of the instructional sites will have to attend labs wherever those labs are located.  However, the curriculum will be designed to minimize long travel as much as possible. We are also seeking input from university working groups, as well as other industry experts on innovative ways to address issues such as lab usage. For example, it may be possible to have state-of-the art mobile labs that could be used in different locations to help minimize travel by students. Many options will be considered that will lead to increased student success.

 

Will both locations (UTB and UTPA)offer different courses, or will the students currently attending the separate universities, continue with the current way things are operated, meaning both campuses will continue to offer the courses they have always offered, or will there only be one location to actually take classes?

General education courses, which are usually taken in the first two years of college, will likely be available to students at any of the instructional sites and online. It is possible that upper division and graduate courses of a particular program may be concentrated at a particular instructional site, available online, or in a hybrid format. However, we are very early in the planning process and many discussions need to occur with faculty members and other key stakeholders before a new academic and organizational structure is finalized. We do know that UTRGV will have a single academic and administrative structure so there will be one college or department  of “X” operating programs throughout the Valley.

 

So what happens to all the diplomas that have University of Texas - Pan American on them?

Diplomas issued to graduates of UTPA and UTB will always be valid and recorded in the official records which will be in the custody of and accessible at UTRGV

 

A number of the guiding principles (including the first) reference technology use. Who will decide which technologies are used in the classroom--the faculty or the administration?

New developments and inventions will create the expectation and demand by students and employers for 21st Century relevant technology and the university, with the advice of faculty and staff, as well as subject matter experts, will deploy these in new and innovative ways that enhance the higher education experience and value at UTRGV. 

 

So from what i have read it seems there will be no more UTPA or UTB...UTRGV is the campus for the valley. UTPA is one location of UTRGV and UTB also another location for UTRGV what i want to know is what about the departments like for example Music. Music is a huge impact in the valley as you can see from Brownsville to McAllen. UTB/UTPA music programs have grown exponentially since they first started and what i want to know is will they become one huge department or still be two different departments?????

Once UTRGV begins, UTPA and UTB will cease to exist and their campuses absorbed by UTRGV. All academic programs, including Music, will each be offered by one university-wide department which will offer courses at various instructional sites across the Valley, including Brownsville and Edinburg. UTRGV will have a single academic and administrative structure. In other words, there will be just one college or department of “X” operating programs throughout the Valley.

 

How will previous students at UTB and UTPA get transcripts?

Student records and transcripts will be put in the custody of UTRGV, who will service requests for records and transcripts from previous UTB and UTPA students and graduates.

 

I notice that the community engagement is stated as a core value for this new university we are creating.  Would it be fair to assume that this new university should seek to secure the Engaged Classification that Carnegie awards?

It is too early for us to know much at that level of detail but you are right that Community Engagement is a primary theme in the Guiding Principles. In fact, community engagement activities have already begun under the auspices of the new university. On November 8, the University of Texas System and Valley non-profit organizations sponsored a Forum on Community Engagement to discuss the impact of the new university and how the new institution might be engaged in the well-being and education of colonia and low income residents and become an integral part of the life of colonia students and their families.

Specific initiatives and programs will be part of the Strategic Plan developed by the new university president later in 2014.

 

 

I would like to voice my concern about UTPA being one of the three finalist names. Even if legally, for PUF reasons, the Pan American cannot be adopted as a name, the consideration has thrown off the power balance going into the "consolidation". It is becoming clear that all the talk about both institutions coming in equally into the process is not a reality. This seems to be a merger, where UTPA will stay as it is, and Brownsville will simply be a satellite campus of the new institution. Is this what is happening here?

No, it is not. We had many thoughtful questions posing your same concern and it was relayed so that it could be considered in the name selection.  The Board of Regents carefully weighed all factors in finding the right fit for our new university: The University of Texas -  Rio Grande Valley.

You are correct that this is not a merger. The new university is a completely new entity that is replacing the two present ones, which are being abolished.  What may be confusing is that the campuses, assets and resources are now identified as belonging to UTPA and UTB. All of these are being transferred to the new university.  Hence, all will be important working parts of the new university, identified not by where they are but how they are used to advance the new university mission.

 

Are you considering building a campus for the new university and the school of medicine? 

The University of Texas – RGV will begin with all the campuses, buildings and assets now in Edinburg, Harlingen and Brownsville, which will be enhanced to accommodate growth and the new programs that will be launched, including the medical school and other instructional sites across the Valley.

On November 14, 2013, for the first time in history, the Board of Regents approved $196 million in funding for new science, instructional, and academic medical buildings to support infrastructure needs of UT Rio Grande Valley.

 

Will PUF Funding have any affect towards salaries, tuitions, or new parking spaces?

The Texas Constitution restricts the use of PUF (Permanent University Fund) bonds for the purposes of acquiring land either with or without permanent improvements, constructing and equipping buildings or other permanent improvements, major repair and rehabilitation of buildings and other permanent improvements, acquiring capital equipment and library books and library materials, and refunding PUF bonds or notes.   PUF bonds may not be used for the purpose of constructing, equipping, repairing, or rehabilitating buildings or other permanent improvements that are to be used for student housing, intercollegiate athletics, or auxiliary enterprises.  PUF debt may not be used to fund operating expenses, such as salaries or scholarships.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CN/htm/CN.7.htm#7.18

See sections 18(b) and (d).

 

After the merging, can a faculty member move to another campus if it is suitable for his research or teaching while under the same college/department?

Faculty will not  belong  to any particular campus location – they will be faculty members of the new university. In fact, it is likely to be common for faculty members of the new university to be working and collaborating across the Valley as their work requires.

As for colleges and departments, there will not be a duplication of colleges or departments. The new university will have a single academic and administrative structure down to the program level. In other words, there will be just one college or department of “X” operating programs throughout the Valley. Additional details on academic programs and the new organizational structure will likely be finalized in 2014.

Perhaps the best way to think about the new university’s sense of  place  is to think of the instructional sites (present and future) as a single institution, with the realization that the buildings can be farther apart and even be virtual. The entire Rio Grande Valley, in essence, becomes the physical campus of the new university.

 

Would the colleges and departments be distributed over the two universities? I don't see how UT Brownsville will survive this merge. It feels like it will be just a service center for the new university. Can you please clarify? Thanks for your efforts!

Your question asks about the distribution of functions “over the two universities.”  The fact is that there will not be “two universities.” There will be just one new university with multiple sites across the whole Rio Grande Valley. One of the instructional campuses will be in Edinburg, another one in Brownsville. There will also be a Medical School campus in Harlingen and another one in Edinburg. A number of other sites will be utilized to distribute teaching, research and public service across the entire Valley.

As for colleges and departments, there will not be a duplication of colleges or departments. The new university will have a single academic and administrative structure down to the program level. In other words, there will be just one college or department of “X” operating programs throughout the Valley. Additional details on academic programs and the new organizational structure will likely be finalized in 2014.

After the assets, facilities and human resources of the two universities have been consolidated into a new, single, accredited university to begin classes in August of 2015, upon determination by the Board of Regents, The University of Texas-Pan American and The University of Texas at Brownsville will be abolished. (Senate Bill 24)

 

I'm very concerned that it seems that UTI is really under serious consideration. Is that true?

The Board of Regents will consider all possibilities and is expected to make a final decision during a Board meeting in December. Your concern has been noted.

 

Will students from UT Brownsville and UT Pan American have to re-apply to the new university?

No. Current students will be automatically enrolled in the new university.

 

What tuition and fees will be charged to students at the new university?

We are early in the process of developing and launching the new university and have not yet completed the financial model that would include tuition and fee details. Tuition and fees for all UT institutions are determined by the UT System Board of Regents.  The Board approved The Guiding Principles for the new university, which specifically refer to affordability.  Every effort will be made to apply that principle in development of the new university.

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