Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, a native of Edinburg, Texas, has been named vice president for academic affairs and provost at The University of Texas-Pan American effective June 1, President Miguel A. Nevárez has announced.
Arévalo, who has been provost and chief academic officer at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., since 1993, received his bachelor's degree in accounting from UTPA in 1969 when it was Pan American University. He did his graduate work at the University of Michigan, where he earned a master of social work degree in 1972 and a doctor of philosophy degree in educational administration in 1973.
"We are very pleased to have attracted someone of Dr. Arévalo's caliber," said Nevárez. "He will bring to UT Pan American broad experiences as an administrator and faculty member at both doctoral degree-granting institutions and regional universities."
Arévalo said the opportunity to combine his interest in the two types of higher education institutions is what lured him to UT Pan American.
"Since I began my academic career, I have had an interest in research and scholarly productivity. Another interest of mine is in the whole area of providing services to the regional community," he said. "At UT Pan American, I really see a marriage between the regional institution and the doctoral degree-granting institution, which Pan American will become. The bringing together of what I have learned at both types of institutions will be a good fit for me."
UT Pan American, one of Texas' largest regional universities, will award its first PhD degree at May commencement exercises for the College of Business Administration. The university also offers a cooperative educational administration doctoral program with The University of Texas at Austin.
UTPA's newly named chief academic officer said he sees the university as one that, over the last 15 years "has reached a point of evolution so that it needs to look seriously at its academic programs - its focus in moving toward doctoral degree-granting status and how you bring the students, faculty and administration to appreciate the different role the university now has to take," he said.
The challenge of preparing UTPA for a broader role in Texas higher education is one of the reasons Arévalo said he is returning to his alma mater.
"If you were to look at my history and involvement with institutions of higher education, you would see that I have an interest in attempting something really new and helping to bring
Before joining the administration at Fort Hays State, Arévalo spent five years at California State University, Stanislaus, serving as dean of the Stockton Center and director of institutional research in 1992-93 and as associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies and research from 1988 to 1992.
From 1981 to 1988, he was on the faculty of California State University, Los Angeles, where he served over the years as associate vice president for academic affairs and professor and chair of the Department of Social Work.
Since 1979, he also has served part-time as president of the Center for Social System Development and Analysis in San Gabriel, Calif.
For Arévalo, returning to Edinburg, where he attended elementary, junior and senior high school, as well as Pan American University, "is just the icing on the cake."
He has a sister and three brothers living in the Rio Grande Valley, and another brother in Houston.