Dr. Havidán Rodríguez has been selected as the new provost/vice president for Academic Affairs for The University of Texas-Pan American. Rodríguez, who is currently the deputy provost and a professor in the sociology and criminal justice department of the University of Delaware, begins his new post at UTPA Jan. 1.
Rodríguez is also a core faculty member and former director of the Disaster Research Center, the oldest and one of the leading social science disaster research centers in the world. Currently he is the principal investigator for the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program: Training the Next Generation of Disaster Researchers, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
"He brings a wealth of teaching and administrative experience, research expertise and an extensive record of accomplishments," UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen said in a letter announcing Rodíguez's hire.
Rodríguez said he is honored to have been selected and is looking forward to working with the University and Rio Grande Valley communities in moving UTPA forward.
"The future is very bright at UTPA and there are many exciting and promising opportunities that will contribute to the growth and development of this institution and its surrounding communities. It will be a privilege to work with President Nelsen, the Provost's Office and with other members of the UTPA community," he said.
Rodríguez has served on many committees for the National Academies of Sciences and on review panels for the NSF and the Ford Foundation and was chairman of the Latina/o Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. He has received funding from those foundations, as well as from the National Institute of Mental Health, FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Sea Grant Program, for many research projects focusing on the social science aspects of disasters and projects that provide hands-on experiences and mentoring for undergraduate and graduate students, according to his résumé.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland. Rodríguez said he was impressed with the University's students, faculty and staff and their loyalty and commitment to UTPA. As provost, he said, he is looking forward to building and sustaining interdisciplinary collaborations, strategic global partnerships and initiatives, as well as expanding study abroad programs, undergraduate research, service learning and other experiential and discovery learning initiatives.
"At the end of the day, the most important institutional goal is to ensure the success of our students," he said. "Their success is the University's success."