After a four-month search, The University of Texas-Pan American announced the appointment of Dr. Paul Sale as the University's provost/vice president for Academic Affairs. He was greeted and serenaded by the UTPA Mariachi who offered a lively South Texas welcome before the press conference Monday, July 24.
With a strong record as a leader in academia, Cárdenas said his credentials were among the most impressive.
"I humbly and enthusiastically accept this appointment. I pledge to you President Cárdenas and to the faculty, staff and students to vigorously devote my energy, passion, strengths, knowledge and skills to advance the mission and values of The University of Texas-Pan American," Sale said.
He said he has privately celebrated the University's many successes over the past few months and it is clear to him that the campus is moving in a very strategic direction and with deliberate speed.
"Know that I will approach the role of provost and vice president as a collaborative servant leader. I will spend my first few weeks, intensively listening to and learning from the many constituencies on and off campus," Sale said. "This listening, learning and relationship building will serve us well as we work together to realize our goals and move together to achieve the vision set forth for UTPA in 2012."
Sale comes to UTPA from Radford University in southwest Virginia where he served as dean and professor of the College of Education and Human Development for six years. While at Radford, Sale was instrumental in helping to expand the curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; manage enrollment growth; create a new School of Teacher Education and Leadership; and establish new faculty governance structures within the college. His professional expertise is in the education of exceptional children and vocational rehabilitation of adults with disabilities.
As a first-generation college graduate, he completed his bachelor's and master's degrees at Virginia Commonwealth University and his doctorate at the University of Georgia.
Students, faculty and staff at UT Pan American were pleased with the caliber of candidates and the level of professionalism with which the provost search was conducted.
"Dr. Sale brings a strong commitment to students with him as he joins us at the University," said Joey Nichols, a summer graduate of UTPA and former vice president of the Student Government Association. "From speaking briefly with him at the open forum, I suspect that Dr. Sale will both seek and value student input in his decision-making, which will allow him to better contribute to UTPA's growing culture of openness and shared governance."
Dr. Grant Benham, assistant professor of psychology and anthropology, said the University has a strong sense of community which is now being infused with the varied skills and experiences of new faculty and administrators.
"I am impressed with how quickly and effectively the provost search committee was able to provide a final pool of quality candidates and, based on Dr. Sale's background, I am optimistic that he will be able to move us closer to achieving our institutional goals," Benham said.
Sale will start the position at UTPA, Aug. 21, replacing Dr. Ana Maria Rodriguez, who has served as interim provost. Rodriguez will return to her position as associate vice president for Undergraduate Studies.
"My wife, Kim, and I are looking forward to becoming part of this campus community. We are eager to build new and long lasting relationships with our campus colleagues and with the residents of the greater Rio Grande Valley," he said.