After 32 years of service to The University of Texas-Pan American, Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez announced that he will step down from his duties as UTPA president in August 2004.
Nevárez made his announcement to more than 500 staff and faculty members, who attended the annual Fall Convocation State of the University Address Friday, Aug. 22 at the Student Union.
While some staff and faculty held back tears and others couldn't help but shed a tear, Nevárez urged them all to continue on the journey to take UTPA to the next level of becoming the doctoral research university for South Texas.
"Becoming the doctoral research university in South Texas will make significant positive changes in the quality of life and economic development of this region," Nevárez said. "We have committed ourselves to this goal and I know that you will see it through completion."
Nevárez was the first Rio Grande Valley native and alumnus to serve as president of the University and in his 22nd year as president, he is the longest seated Hispanic president of a four-year college or university in the United States. He also served as vice president of UTPA for nine years. Nevárez said he would continue to serve UTPA in a faculty position.
"I have seen many positive changes at this institution and in the communities we serve. This University has been credited for assisting in the development of a strong middle class of Hispanic citizens for the State of Texas," Nevárez said. "The educational attainment, success and leadership of our students in the past, present and in the future will change the face of the nation and provide leadership for the future. I am honored and humbled to have been a part of that positive change."
Nevarez said the University of Texas System will conduct a nationwide search for the next UTPA president.
During the convocation, Nevárez also discussed the results of the 78th Texas Legislature and its impact on UTPA. He also talked about the institutional vision and what direction needs to be taken to achieve the three over-arching goals of improving student access and success, being a state leader in the preparation and production of public school teachers and becoming a doctoral research University.
Also recognized during the convocation were the endowed chairs and professorships, which included Dr. Subash Bose, who was named the Louis A. Beecherl Professor in Engineering; Dr. Alberto Davila, who holds the Neuhaus Chair in Entrepreneurship; Dr. Charles Harlow, who holds the Lloyd Bentsen Endowed Chair in Engineering; and Dr. Manuel Peña, who currently holds the Marialice Shary Shivers Endowed Chair in Fine Arts.
Outstanding Faculty Awards for Service were given to Dr. Richard Fowler, professor of Computer Science, College of Science and Engineering; Dr. Irmo Marini, professor of Rehabilitative Services, College of Health Sciences and Human Services; Dr. Velma Menchaca, associate professor of Educational Leadership, College of Education; and Dr. Michael Weaver, associate professor of History and Philosophy, College of Arts and Humanities.
Outstanding Faculty Awards for Achievement were awarded to Dr. Stephen Crown, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering; Dr. Mark Glazer, professor of Psychology and Anthropology, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Dr. Bobby Guinn, professor of Health and Kinesiology, College of Education; Dr. Angela Hausman, assistant professor of Management, Marketing and International Business, College of Business Administration; Dr. José M. Martinez, assistant professor of Modern Languages and Literature, College of Arts and Humanities; and Tom Shefcik, associate professor of Rehabilitative Services, College of Health Sciences and Human Services.
For outstanding performance in teaching, receiving the Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching was Dr. Servando Hinojosa, assistant professor of Psychology and Anthropology, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Dr. Evelyn Hume, associate professor of Accounting and Business Law, College of Business Administration.