President Bailey names UTRGV transition team

AUSTIN – Guy Bailey, newly appointed president of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, today announced a transition leadership team that will work closely with a broader team of administrators at The University of Texas System that has been working diligently on UTRGV’s establishment for the past year and half.

“This is a monumental challenge that no one person can accomplish,” Bailey said. “I am relying on the deep wealth of talent and skills at the two existing institutions, as well as the knowledge and expertise at the UT System, to assist me in bringing this new university - and all of the promise and opportunity it holds – to life.”

UT Board of Regents Vice Chairman Gene Powell, who also serves as the board’s special liaison to South Texas, said he’s pleased to see Bailey pushing forward even though his first official day on the job is not until June 15.

“Dr. Bailey is exactly the kind of leader we need for this ambitious undertaking,” said Powell, who made the motion to appoint Bailey as UTRGV’s first president at a meeting this week. “It is amazing to think that this began as an idea the Board of Regents approved less than 18 months ago. The work done by UT System leaders and the wonderful faculty, staff and administrators on the campuses in Brownsville, Edinburg and Harlingen already is remarkable. I am confident that, with Dr. Bailey’s leadership, we will continue to make great strides in building, in Dr. Bailey’s words, the nation’s first major public university of the 21st century.”

Transition team members include:

  • Dr. Janna Arney, currently Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs at UTB
  • Marty Baylor, currently Vice President for Business Affairs at UTPA
  • Liza Benson, Assistant Director of Change Management for  UT System
  • Dr. Martha Cantu, currently Vice President for Student Affairs at UTPA
  • Irv Downing, currently Vice President for Economic Development and Community Services at UTB
  • Veronica Gonzales, currently Vice President for University Advancement at UTPA
  • Dr. Francisco Fernandez, Dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine
  • Letty Fernandez, currently Director of News and Information at UTB
  • Dr. Maggie Hinojosa, currently Senior Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services at UTPA
  • Dr. Julio Leon, Special Advisor for UT System’s Office of Academic Affairs
  • Ben Reyna, currently Assistant Provost for Governmental Relations at UTB
  • Dr. Havidan Rodriguez, currently Vice President for Academic Affairs at UTPA
  • Dr. Sadiq Shah, currently Vice Provost for Research and Sponsored Projects at UTPA

Bailey could add more members to the transition team as events progress.

“This is the most challenging and exciting thing I have ever been a part of,” said Dr. Pedro Reyes, UT System’s executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, whose office is leading the establishment of UTRGV. “With this team in place and the assistance and support of the entire faculty and staff at UTB and UTPA, I am certain we will be ready and enthusiastic to welcome UTRGV students in fall 2015.”

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