The University of Texas-Pan American Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, has announced today the reassignment of two deans at the University - Dr. Rodolfo Rocha, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, and Dr. Hilda Medrano, dean of the College of Education. Both have been placed on a semester-long development leave to restart their engagement in research and teaching said Arévalo.
"The change in leadership should be a smooth transition that will be accomplished over the next year," Arévalo said. "Acting deans are expected to be named in the next two weeks and a formal process for selecting permanent deans to lead each of these colleges will begin."
Medrano has been the College of Education dean since September 1997 and was named the interim dean in 1995. Medrano has been a faculty member at UT Pan American since 1986, and was also a faculty member at Pan American University at Brownsville, now UT Brownsville-Texas Southmost College, for seven years prior to that. She received her master's in education from then Pan American University and her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.
Rocha was named dean of the College of Arts and Humanities in September 1999. Joining the faculty as an associate professor of history in 1978, Rocha served as associate dean of the College from 1997-1998 and chair of the Department of History from 1993-1999. Rocha earned his bachelor's and master's from Pan American University and his doctorate in history from Texas Tech University in 1981.
"These moves are part of what typically occurs when the leadership of an academic institution changes," Arévalo said. "The acting deans will ensure that the progress and development efforts of these two colleges continue."
Arévalo said the College of Education has been focused on improving their teacher preparation over the past few years and the faculty has been very active in the integration of technology into their classes and increasing their research efforts. He said the College of Arts and Humanities will continue to review and make improvements in their existing curriculum and have begun a focus on increasing the number of students enrolled in the graduate programs.
Dr. Blandina Cárdenas, UTPA's new president who assumed the position in August, said, "I am grateful for these individuals' dedication and service to the University and appreciate the many significant educational contributions that they have made in their respective colleges and for students. I have great confidence in the faculty's commitment to carry on during this period of transition and to collaborate in the process of restructuring."